Ethie and I plodded on all the long hot day after a night of extreme terror.
We rested for a spell at the beginning of the night. But I wanted to get home. We were in dangerous territory.
Ethie argued with me and refused to budge. About that time the leader of a coyote pack walked up the road heading toward us. I quickly shoved a sputtering, clucking, hen into the high grass along the canal and SAT on her! I mean…what is a dog to do when a chicken just WON’T SHUT UP!
I didn’t sit hard, but I did sit long. I couldn’t risk that silly hen flapping herself into the canal or her squawking drawing attention to us.
After the whole pack of six trotted by I waited a little longer, then got off the hen gave her a push up the bank with my nose and we were off again.
This time Ethie listened to me and hopped and ran alongside without me having to prod her along.
We had just reached the little bridge where Dad’s water from the headgate enters into the little corn field. Ethie and I had stopped for a rest both of us getting a drink of water.
Suddenly lots of chittering and chatter and racket were heard coming out the cornfield…Raccoons! And the whole family of them. Ethie and I took one look at each other and took off fast!
Nothing tastes better to raccoons than CHICKEN!
This time we ran and ran and ran until we made it to the old cottonwood tree! At the bottom of the old cottonwood tree is a little hollow. We were so tired neither one of us could take another step.
I pushed Ethie into the hollow gave her a little time to fluff herself up and settle in way close to the tree and the tree’s roots. Then I laid down and front of her ………………………….zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
Morning arrived and with it was STANLEY! Oh, yes! STANLEY the squirrel. It was so good to see STANLEY! Just seeing Stanley meant we were getting close to the farm.
Well, closer. Stanley and Stewart had moved themselves up to the old cottonwood tree some time back. I missed them in the farmyard, but it wasn’t too much time to trot up the farm road. Well, way up the farm…way, way up the farm road and visit them.
I would do that ever so often. I rather like Stanley and Stewart.
Anyway, Stanley woke Ethie and I. then Stanley talked a mile a minute about everything going on in his squirrel world.
I told him what we were doing, introduced him to Ethie, then he was off. He said he had lots of work to do to get ready for winter. Winter was coming you know…he yelled over his shoulder as he took off down the farm road.
The day wore on.
My it was hot!
I put Ethie in front of me giving her a little push now and again. Down the long hot farm road, we went.
Gradually we made it to one of Dad’s farm equipment areas. By this time the sun was starting to set.
We were close, but still not close enough.
Then suddenly and without any warning, Ruth silently glided down out the sky and grabbed Ethie around her very skinny but feathery body and lifted Ethie up into the sky.
Ethie took one look at the ground, then one look at the claws around her middle and fainted.
I saw Ethie’s neck go limp, her neck all stretched out looking like a very dead chicken.
That is for sure.
“HEY, DOG! SEE YOU IN THE FARMYARD! IT’S TIME THIS BIRD MADE IT HOME!”
With that Ruth and Ethie flew way up into the sky turned toward the farmhouse and was gone!
I picked up my feet, tail wagging and ran as fast as my beagle legs could take me to HOME!