About a half-hour after the national news went off, the dog came to me and told me that she needed to go outside. Yes, she does talk to me, but in Dog, not English. After putting on my jeans and putting her in the leash, I took her outside to her favorite draining area. I suspect the reason that she likes to go back to the same area is not so much because it smells like “her,” but because every other dog (and some other creatures) that comes through leaves its own “mark.” I think it must be sort of a cross between a canine community bulletin board and an olfactory version of “Kilroy was here.” She sniffed a while, and then, when she found JUST the right spot, dropped and drained. A somewhat shorter visit to her “dumping area” was followed by a trip to the truck, where I dried and cleaned her hinder parts to carpet compatibility.
Instead of taking her back inside, though, I had her jump up on the porch. Then, I sat on the porch edge and she laid down beside me. We stayed there several minutes watching the cars go by and listening to the birds in the nearby forest edge and a dog in the distance. She would be an outside dog if we’d let her. Of course she’d expect us to move out there with her. However, my wife utterly refuses to make the move, so that’s why the pooch remains an inside dog. She wouldn’t want to remain outside without us anyway, and with coyotes, big dogs and cougars wandering the area anymore, we wouldn’t dare leave her out there unprotected.
Eventually, I could see that she was starting to think of my wife, so I let her in, but closed the door behind her. I got a flannel shirt from the truck and put it on. It was a Chinese model (is there any other kind) in 5X, but with short, narrow arms. Do you suppose that Chinese men with weight on them honestly have child-sized arms? Somehow, I doubt it, but they’re sending them to America, so they don’t give a hoot. Taking the splitting maul from the back of the truck, I walked over to where three large oak chunks lay on the ground. After standing them up, I rolled up the arms of the shirt, so my swinging of the maul would be less likely to tear a seam.
It was one finger ‘til sunset when I sat on another big oak chunk that I’d saved for a stool. The birds were still singing and the sky glowed pink in a strip below a dark cloud and above an orange sun. I split the first chunk into eighths and sat down to catch my breath. In the head of the hollow to my right, it sounded like a bull moose running through last fall’s leaves, so I assumed it was a distant chipmunk, or maybe a squirrel. I split the next piece and sat and listened, then split the final piece and sat again. By that time, the sun was long gone. The birds were singing less lustily by that time, but still they sang.
After a bad morning, such stolen moments of pleasure help restore my inner balance. Man wasn’t designed to work in factories, offices or mines, but for work and times such as I was enjoying. God had a good plan until human greed messed it up. Gradually, I became aware that a mosquito had discovered my bare ankle, so I put the maul away, put the flannel shirt back in the truck and joined my wife and dog before the electronic hearth. © 2014