King led the way, looking left and right, back over his shoulder,
then facing front again. Gradually the night started to lighten and the day started to grow.
Ethie hopped along, her claws sore and weary. I went behind her, giving her fluffy chicken body a push and sometimes a shove with my beagle nose.
The traveling was slow and painful and ever so slow.
Did I say slow?
You have NO idea what agonizing slow really is.
“Well, Beagle, here is where I leave you.” King stopped and turned toward Ethie and I. “I got you to the Little Corn Field. That is further than I thought we were going to make it.”
With that statement, King turned and pushed his way into the rows of the corn stalks and was gone!
There we stood, a tired, worn out chicken, and one rather tired beagle. But if I stood on the road and looked way down the road, way, way down the road to the tiny little dots way, way down there I could just make out the start of Dad’s implement yard.
We were almost home!
“Okay, Ethie! We are close now.” I turned my eyes back and looked at Ethie. She was so tired her eyelids had closed over her eyes and she was standing there on one foot, the other foot tucked up under her fluffy feathered belly.
Oh! That very naughty urge to give her a wee little push with my nose!
I could just see what would happen…a gentle little push and FLUPP right into the soft dirt of the farm road Ethie would go.
I stood there a little spell and let Ethie sleep. As I watched Ethie’s one leg slowly collapsed; Ethie sat down in the soft dirt, of the farm road, and slept on.
The day was starting to brighten, but I figured Ethie needed her rest so I stood guard…..zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz, erk, snort, blink…I stood gu…………..zzzzzzz.
HUH!? WHAT!? I jerked awake!
“WHAT IS HAPPENING?” I barked.
“DANGER! HELP! DANGER!” Ethie screamed and ran right to me and jumped on my back!
“I’m about to be dinner!”
“Wait, wait!” I tried to wake up and get my bearings. “Dinner?” I couldn’t make sense of what she was screaming.
Dinner. What a lovely thought. I licked my lips. Dinner…I could use dinner. Crunchy bits of cereal, some really yummy something or other out a can….jerky! Goodness! ANYTHING! Dinner sounds….
“HHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHEEEEEEEEEEEEELLLLLLLLLLLLLP” Ethie screamed in my ear and clawed my back.
“OH, SHUT IT UP, HEN! You are the most annoying bird in the universe. I don’t think I have even come up against any other bird as loud and crazy as you are!” Ruth fluttered down; landing beside Ethie and myself.
“I see you made it to the farm road. Not far now.”
“No,” I sighed. “Not far now…just an eternity with a hen.”
“Hummph!” Ethie grumped. “I’m doing my part. It just takes me longer to get somewhere than you. I only have two feet and you have four.”
“True,” I replied, looking sadly at her two feet. “Ever so true.”
“Well, I think you got it made, dog, so I’m off for my bed in the old tree.” Hope you make it home before the sun goes down. If not, I’ll check the road and see where you are. Maybe I’ll stop for a spell, maybe not.”
With that Ruth rose into the sky; turning into a smaller and smaller dot as she flew away.
Then once more it was just me, Sherlock Boomer Beaglie Brown, and Ethie the hen. And still, a long-long-long way to go.