Occasionally, I have a grumpy day. It’s quite enjoyable. More than being just irritable, it’s got an energy to it which gets me moving through the day, thinking amusing grumpy thoughts and clomping about the house and garden.

A friend tells me she doesn’t think she ever gets grumpy. She suggests being grateful for things as a cure – but I don’t want a cure, I want to make the most of it. I’m grateful for being grumpy.

The word “grumpy” even suits the mood. Sure enough, when I looked it up to see where it originated, my dictionary said “imit. origin” – meaning that the word is a sort of onomatopoeia, the sound of it imitating the mood.

A quick bit of research suggests that grumpiness can be caused by a variety of things: lack of sleep, stress, hormones, underlying illness. Stereotyping makes grumpiness an affliction of older men. My dad was pretty grumpy as he got older, but I think that could be put down to most of those symptoms listed above. In my case, it’s like a wind change – awesome.*

Not long after a grumpy day a couple of weeks ago, I noticed the chooks were in a marauding mood very like grumpiness. I was dashing after them protecting plants from being scratched up. They even broke into my green house, trampling the beans and eating the miner’s lettuce. I had put a pot of parsley by the garage door as they hadn’t shown any interest in parsley before. Well, that changed. Before I could put netting around the plant it was mostly bare stalks. What could account for that mood change? Afflicting all of them at once!

I’m back to my placid self, as are the chooks – no, hold the phone, I’ve just heard cries of alarm: they’re in the planter again despite my defensive efforts with netting and bricks. Sigh.

Marauding chooks

That this doesn’t make me grumpy, just resigned to chicken nature, suggests that there’s something mysterious which causes my occasional grumpy days. I look forward to the next one.

*I’m reminded of the lightning-charged beginning chapters of Ray Bradbury’s novel Something Wicked this way Comes.

3 thoughts on “Grumpy

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