Looking back once.
Looking back twice.
I was gone. Up and over and around the hill onto my way to Back Forty.
I was trotting as fast as my overly stuffed beagle body (winter flab, you understand) could go as I made my way closer and closer to my goal of finding Kit.
Kit is my bestest fox friend, when—-
“BOOMER!” Some tiny little voice was calling me. I looked back over my shoulder and saw STEWART!
Stewart is Stanley’s brother. Stanley the Squirrel. Stanley the Squirrel who is on the grain head posing for Mom.
I pulled up to a stop and sat down and waited. To be honest with you my ancient Beagle bones and muscles were protesting just a tad. Nothing to worry about, but I did feel a little winded. Sitting and waiting for Stewart would not be a sign of weakness. No siree. Just being polite is all.
Puff, puff, pant, pant.
“Hey, Boomer where you heading? Can I come with you?” Stewart skidded to a stop, little puffs of dust flinging up around his squirrel paws.
“Sure,” I allowed. “Company is always a good thing.”
“Can I ride?” Stewart asked.
“No, not this time. We will just take it easy and slow. You can check out things you are interested in and I can check out the news along the way. If either one of us gets tired we will just stop under the shade of a rabbit brush or other weed; rest a spell, then go on.”
“Hey! Great Idea.” Let’s head out!”
I puffed myself up, shook the dirt off my feet, gave my whole body a good shake and we were off.
We hadn’t gone very far, just around the bend at the end of the second alfalfa field, when suddenly Handsome the Pheasant flew out of the tall grass yelling his fright/flight call.
That scared Stewart and I so much we both fell down. Then Stewart started scrabbling backward trying to get under cover.
About that time, I realized the bunch of screaming was coming from Handsome the Pheasant. I guess being able to recognize the fact it was Handsome helped when he landed right next to me.
“BOOMER!” Handsome yelled. “My Pheasant God in all the Heavens what are you doing up here? Why I haven’t seen you all winter, nor have I seen you all Spring. What gives? Where have you been? It’s been rather lonely up here, well, not really lonely…I do have three lovely hens to err, um, cough, to pass the time with, but I mean LONELY without hanging out with you. I miss our games of hiding and flight, squawk and flush. What is going on with you—-”
I put up a paw. “Wait! Slow down, Handsome, slow down. You are talking so fast I can’t process what you are saying let along answer your questions.
Okay, now, one thing at a time. It’s really good to see you again Handsome.”
“Thanks, Boomer, Now tell me what’s going on. I am so glad to see you– can we do something — come on Boomer, let’s get to…………”
Just then I heard and wee voice crying in the Wilderness— “BOOMER! STEWART! WAIT FOR ME!”
Around the corner came STANLEY!
Stanley slid to dust filled stop, panting heavily. “Whew! I made it. I was afraid I couldn’t catch up with all of you.” Stanley stood up and put his paws on his knees and hung his head panting heavily.
Stewart ran over and toppled Stanley; they started wrestling right there in all the dirt.
“Stop! STOP!” I yelled.
“It’s good you are here, Stanley, but what about Mom. How did you get away?”
“Chip showed up. As soon as Chip showed up I jumped down and crashed through all the brush so your Mom wouldn’t follow me, then I scampered onto the road and ran for all I was worth.”
“YAY!” Stewart and Handsome and I yelled.
“We are all off on an adventure,” I stated
With that, we picked our paws and claws, and headed out!