TITLE: A Night Walk with the Dogs
By Clyde Blakely
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A Night Walk with the Dogs
"Okay, okay, I’m coming."
Dogs scratching at the front door. It’s been a long day working in the fields; haying season is almost here. The dogs were tired out running and playing all day in the fields. They’re rested up now and ready for their walk. It’s late so it’ll be a night walk.
Lucky I finally found my favorite flashlight. Can’t image how I misplaced it like that.
"Okay, come on dogs we’re ready to go. Now you dogs be very quiet tonight. Tom down the road lost a lamb the last night and thinks it was a cougar. Maybe we can see him."
I think they understood me, jumping up and down, spinning around, but no barking as usual.
"Which trail should we take?"
Chance is off in the lead to our favorite trail down towards Tom’s place; Max is right behind as always, and my favorite dog of all time, Sam, bringing up the rear. Sam and I have had some good hunting times together. He’s the most faithful dog I’ve ever had. He’s getting old now and kind of down in the hips but still loves to go whenever I walk. Why, he’s been with me for a couple of decades, I guess.
Funny, they do seem awfully quiet tonight; almost too quiet. Not going ahead very far and we’re still near the house. They’re going very slow and keep coming back to me. It’s like something’s up around the bend. I’ll turn off the flashlight so I won’t spook whatever it is.
"Shhh, quiet and let’s stick together."
Good, the dogs are staying close. Almost like they’re either trying to protect me or looking for me to protect them. Keep going.
Ears up; we all hear it! Crunching sounds with a low pitched growling. Softly now and slow, we’re almost around the bend; maybe we can surprise it and see what it is.
A growl, oh Sam, you might have scared it off. Quick, the flashlight.
Oh my, it’s a cougar eating a carcass. Why didn’t I bring a gun? Oh no, Sam’s charging the cougar...
"Mr. Blakely, why are you making such a racket in this dark hallway? And did you steal the nurse’s flashlight again? I’ll push you in your wheelchair back to your room. You have a big day tomorrow, you know, starting physical therapy. The Doctor wants you walking again."
"Well, Sam, we almost got him tonight. Won’t see him again for awhile. How ‘bout a day walk tomorrow, (looking over the shoulder at the nurse) there’ll less varmints distracting us?"
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