Celeste has discovered sticks. They are her new favorite things. Last weekend, she destroyed her tennis ball at the park, so we searched around for something else to chase, and came up with a stick. I think it was like a revelation for her. Now there is a pile of tree branches and twigs on the bike path, and Celeste almost had a stroke when she saw it. She leaped into the middle of the pile searching for a loose stick. When she found one, she triumphantly carried it all the way back home, up the two flights of stairs, and into the apartment. The people on the street laughed and make their little comments, but Celeste knew that they had no idea just what they were missing, if they didn't have a stick of their own. So the people were forgiven or simply ignored as she paraded back home with her treasure between her teeth.
Advice from Celeste:
There is a specific way to destroy a stick. One has to peel the bark off and discard it in shreds around the living room, placing it just so, so that others will know that there is a stick in the house. It's kind of like leaving a trail of bread crumbs, so people can find their way to the actual stick and of course the stick chewer - that way they can watch in admiration and the owner of the stick resolutely destroys the stick.
After the stick is peeled, one has to start at one end of the stick and delicately CRUNCH the end, until the stick splinters or is mangled enough to fall on the floor. We do not eat the splintered bit; we only spit them out daintily in an secret pattern that only the stick owner understands. It also makes it easier for the serving maid to sweep them up. One can, however, carry the stick to various places within the abode, leaving small scatterings of saliva-covered wooden bits around, so that again one can be admired as the chewing talents develop.
Once the twig or stick is completely shredded, one should leave it for the servant to clean up, but do keep an eye out for those larger pieces that might be retrieved from the trash in cases of emergency - for example, one might find oneself without any toy whatsoever, and then the larger piece of stick serves as an excellent diversion and can also be scattered about the home as one deems necessary, although in smaller quantities. This is unimportant, for it still gives the servant a reason for being and allows her to feel needed within the household.
Photos to follow.