About 8:00 last night, the familiar woooo-oooooo of a fire engine horn went by on the street outside our house. I watched through the window as it made a right at the end of our block, then turned left and headed up the street parallel to us. A couple of minutes later, the fire chief SUV went by after it, also with sirens blaring.

The Dormouse had already gone to bed so we were spared the screams of
"Santa, Santa!!" that normally accompany any siren that is heard near our house.

A few minutes later, another fire engine passed by... and then another and another. After the fifth fire truck went by the house and turned the corner, the phone rang.

It was our neighbor a couple of blocks down the street, wanting to know if we were all OK. She'd seen all the emergency vehicles go by and wanted to know if they were headed to our house because we'd
tried to burn the house down again. I wanted to tell her that yes, the house was, indeed on fire, but we'd had to go back in to the burning house to answer the phone when it rang. My less-evil counterpart of a husband would not let me.