Cigarettes mean huge danger; in the form of FIRE!
I put my nose to the ground and started sniffing around in circles, a little bitty circle right next to the two cigarette butts, going wider and wider until…
BAM! I had the smell of that man—yes it was a man—full in the sensors of my very acute Beagle nose!
I had to find this man and stop him before he dropped anymore cigarette butts somewhere on the farm. After all the farm is home to lots of animals, Mom and Dad, ME, and Mindy cat. It’s also home to my oldest sister and all her animals…. dog cousins, Lady the Mule, chickens, Willow and Twisty cat…. I mean there is a whole world resting on my shoulders to save us for fire!
I glanced up once or twice over toward Oreo; seeing Oreo very diligently sniffing along over there by the cactus at the edge of the hill.
I stopped for a minute and waited for Oreo to stop.
He did glancing over at me to see what I was doing. I raised my left paw and bayed to him—I found the tracks. Come on over here and search with me.
Oreo skittered over as fast as short little skunk legs could skitter.
“Where, Boomer? Let me get a good sniff of them also.”
I backed up and let Oreo sniff around the tracks. “Gosh, he’s a big man…the space between the footsteps is lots of my skunk steps!”
Hum…. he snuffed and sniffed around…. “Wait, Boomer! There are TWO men. Here, come smell this…this man doesn’t have as big as stride and he ?!?!? has something like oil on his shoes. Every step he takes leaves a little smell…of DIESEL FUEL!”
“Diesel FUEL!” I bayed…. cigarettes and diesel fuel are a very bad combination!
Oreo and I pushed on noses on the ground. Oreo following one set of tracks and I another. Around the tracks went — into the large Chico patch, then down into the Redwing Black Bird paradise, up Coyote Hill…over onto the flat land where Dad stores his bigger farm equipment.
“Wait, Boomer!” Oreo yelled at me “I’m getting tired and need to stop a spell and I need to get a drink of water. I’m going to head back down the little draw here and fill my mouth will cool water and rest a spell.”
I just looked at him. He was a small little skunk, and he had kept right up with me and my intense hunt for the bad men; a little break isn’t going to make or break anything at this point anyway. I figure we are a day behind the two men as it is.
“Okay,” I replied, “I need a rest and to lap up some cool water myself.
We turned around walked passed the old, old, I mean, so old horses had to move the plow-plow, padded down the little incline, and came to the pool of fresh water the Red Winged Blackbirds loved.
I waded right in and started lapping up the cool water, Red Winged Blackbirds sang all around us as happy song of spring as a dog has ever heard.
Oreo was very carefully stepping into the little pond, but just staying right on the edge…looked like to me he was trying NOT to get that BIG bushy tail of his wet.
I stood there in the very cool water, my paw pads soaking up the mud on the bottom watching Oreo drinking, with his little pink tongue, when a big dark shadow flew over the both of us.
The shadow was going slow, very slow, so slow it sorta, kinda scared me.
Then the shadow left and daylight returned.
Oreo and I picked up our feet and started back out of the fresh cool water and padded up the little incline back to Dad’s large equipment area when the BIG SHADOW was Back!
The big shadow flew over us, blocking out all the sun, then we heard the swoosh, swoosh whirr of giant wings beating the air above us.
Oreo and I froze!
The END OF THE WORLD HAD COME!
It is the Angel of Doom—I just know it its—I raised my nose to the sky to howl and looked right into the eyes of RUTH, the Wise Owl!
“Ruth! You scared me to the point of no return!” I bayed at her.
“Hi, Dog! Oh, put your tail down skunk and turn a back around…Life is too short to be smelling up the air.” Ruth chuckled.
“Okay, Dog tell what you and the little black fur creature are doing out here on the farm together.”
“I am NOT a creature! Oreo spouted. “I am a skunk and Boomer and I are on the trail of two bad men, who smell of diesel fuel and smoke cigarettes!”
“Two bad me who smell of diesel fuel and smoke cigarettes?” Ruth puzzled one feathery tip of her finger placed alongside her beak.
“I’ve seen two men smoking cigarettes, when I was way up there in the sky. And they are NOT far from here. Actually they are just over in the draw past Coyote Hill. They have a little camp set up, campfire, tent and clothes strung here and there.” Ruth mused out-loud.
“You are right, Dog and Skunk! Two men walking around on the farm smoking cigarettes is a baaaaaaaaaad deal. Gather up your paws and I’ll show you the way to their campsite!” Ruth hooted as she lifted herself up into the air, flinging little bits of rocks and sticks in our eyes.
“Fooooollloooooowww MMMME” Ruth called from way, way up, in the blue of the sky. “Foooolllow me.!”