All Fun and Games Another Sherlock Boomer Adventure Chapter 12

Chapter 12


DOTTIE CAME to live with Ethie, Mindy-cat, and I!

You see, Jan, the amazing chicken lady (she shows chickens all over the western part of the United States) said Ethie was lonely.  So Ethie was broody to have company.

Well, she didn’t say it all like that, but that is the way I, Boomer, Sherlock Beagle, understood it when Mom explained it to me.

The farm family has grown just a wee bit more.  And I have to REALLY guard my food!

MEANWHILE out of the farm

(and in the farmyard)

Life as

we know it

goes on!

All Fun and Games!

Unless Coyotes are involved!

  Boomer Beaglie Brown, a.k.a. Sherlock Boomer




Chapter 11 All Fun and Games, Another Sherlock Boomer Adventure

Chapter 11


Mom and I kept going out and checking on Ethie.

“Get up, Ethie”, mom would say, picking Ethie up and putting her down outside the chicken house.

Ethie would just growl at mom.  She even would raise her hackles.

“Oh, stop it!  I’m not going to hurt you.  You just need to get outside and DO something.”

This went on for a couple of days when Mom figured out Ethie was strong enough now she wanted to RAISE BABIES!!!

Well, of course, it was the wrong time of year to head to the feed store and pick up a couple of just-hatched chicks, so Mom started reading up on broody hens.

Then the experiments began…

Ethie was not allowed to sit on her nest.  Which didn’t work…she just sat on the top of the nest.

Ethie was constantly taken off her nest and put outside to stand disgruntle by Mom and I will Mom worked in the yard.

Of course, all egg-laying stopped.

Ethie also stopped eating and grew desperate to SIT ON THE NEST.

So…. Mom wrote a blog friend, who shows hens professionally.

“Help!” Mom wrote, explaining Ethie, Ethie’s attitude, and all the things Mom has tried.

Mom’s friend wrote back…gave really good advice.

A couple of days later——————




All Fun and Games! A Sherlock Boomer Adventure —Chapter 10

Chapter 10


Well, Mom wasn’t so sure having a hen was a good idea.  Gradually, over-time, Ethie grew stronger, put on weight and started doing more and more chicken things.

Like—scratching up all Mom’s carefully crafted flowerbeds.  Not only scratching them up but taking dust baths in them.

Although Mom never did holler at Ethie,

Mom did start putting out old fencing stopping Ethie from having a hay-day in at least a few of the beds.


On the third day Ethie came to live with us, Mom gave up trying to protect all the flowerbeds.  For you see it was on the third day, Ethie felt strong enough to start laying eggs again!

Great big brown eggs!  The kind of egg, which sells as a jumbo in the grocery store.

So, Mom said…” Okay, Ethie Girl, (Ethie and I willed Ethie’s name into Mom’s mind…up until that time Mom was calling her hen.  Ethie was a little upset to just be called hen.) “You can scratch to your heart content in all the flower beds I haven’t covered up or fenced you out of…those big brown eggs make having a little hen on the farm a very good thing.”

So, we settled down to dog, cat, and hen.


Although, hen can be a drag…like when you are trying to eat.  Ethie always wants to come and take my food away.  I howl at her and she jumps back and gradually goes away.

Mom has taken to feeding me ONLY in the house.  Because you see…we have a hen now.

Time went on Ethie took naps with me, tried to get anything I was eating,

also tried to take my dog cousin’s food, took dust baths where ever I was until one-day Ethie refused to get out of her nest.


All Fun and Games Another Boomer Sherlock Adventure Chapter 9

Chapter Nine


Well, as you must know, we made it home.  Ruth flapped Ethie down, sitting her on the lawn close to the clothesline, and flew back up into the air.

I was still heading in…Ruth picked up Ethie some ways out so I still had a spell to trot.

I was getting closer to the house though.

Ruth sailed over my head and hooted down to me what she did. I sat down in the soft dirt of the farm road lifted my right paw in salute, then she was gone.

After some more walking, trotting and running, I made it into the farmyard, headed to my lawn and the clothesline area and collapsed by Ethie.

Boy, was mom surprised when she saw a HEN in her yard.  It’s been years since Mom has had chickens.  Years.

Mom took one look at Ethie. Then a look at me.

“Well, Boomer,” she mused.  “I see you have a friend.  We do we do now?  There is no chicken yard, there is no chicken house, there is no chicken food.”

About the time she finished her sentence Ethie walked over to Mom.  Mom reached down and picked up that very scrawny, starting to lose feathers, hen.

As soon as Ethie was in mom’s arms, Ethie put her little head on mom’s shoulder and gave a huge sigh.

That’s all it took.

Off Mom went to the old chicken house.

“Do you think you would like to live here, little hen if I clean it all out and fix you a nice spot to sleep?”

Ethie looked close at what Mom was talking about.  Then, with a little chicken purr wiggled to get down.

Mom put her down.

“Well, Boomer.  I guess it’s settled.  Let’s get busy.”

With that Mom started taking things out the chicken house, moving them here and there.

After a good sweeping, wash and scrub, Mom was off to the haystack yard with her wheelbarrow.

Then back she came scattering thick good smelling hay all over in the hen house, put the old nesting box back in, and decided she didn’t like it.

“This is way too big for one little hen.” She announced.

Then back she went looking over her supplies of ‘stuff’, came back to the hen house, put two old apple boxes on the floor in the middle of the rather large chicken house floor, then placed the dog crate (useless, because I don’t need it at all!) on the two apple boxes; filled the dog crate with wood shavings she had run to town to get.

She got out two of my old dog dishes, filled one with chicken food, which she picked up while in town, and the other one with water.

By this time it was going on evening, but still too light for bed.

“It’s time to go change water, Boomer. You enjoy yourself little hen.  We will be back shortly.”  With that statement Mom, Dad and I were off to do our last chore of the evening.

(By the way…. riding on the back of the four-wheeler, hanging out on the ditch bank watching Mom and Dad set siphon tubes is MUCH easier than trying to get a hen to safety!  Just say’n.)

When we drove back into the yard the sky had started to turn colors…the night was coming on.

Mom sat me down off the four-wheeler and we took off looking for Ethie.

Mom looked in the flower garden, in the veggie patch, on the lawn by the clothesline, finally, she decided that the hen was gone.

“Well, no hen, Boomer.  I guess she has hidden away.  Let’s go shut the door to the hen house and see if that little bird shows up in the morning.”

Mom and I walked out to the hen house, got to the open door when Mom looked inside and saw


All settled in for the night!


All Fun and Games A Sherlock Boomer Adventure Chapter Eight

Chapter Eight


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.


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!

Chapter 6 All Fun and Games! A Sherlock Boomer Adventure

All Fun and Games!

Chapter Six


We walked, Momma Deer and I, Ruth flew way ahead and then back again, and Ethie ran through most of the night.

Sometime way in the very early morning of the next day, Ethie collapsed. She just fell forward, her beak opened, eyes closed and went BAM onto the soft dirt.

The dirt made a soft little puff as she went down.

I was walking behind Ethie so I saw the whole thing.

Momma deer was in the lead.  Mainly because she was MUCH taller than all of us and could scout for danger much easier.

Ruth had just swung back over-head and saw the hen crumple.

“Hey, dog! I think the hen is done for, maybe it’s time for a nap, some scratching around for bugs and a dust bath for that bird.  Otherwise, she isn’t going to make it.”

I perked up my ears and looked around.

Momma deer stopped her forward march, turned around, came back and stood looking very puzzled at the flat as a leaf chicken.

“I think Ruth is onto something,” she murmured.  “I think I could handle a rest myself.  We are close to the farm road to the Rocky Point Hill; I’ll graze on the pasture grass while you and the hen take a rest.”   With that, she turned back around and walked up to the Rocky Point farm road, did a few hops skips and jumps and was in the pasture at the Upper End.

Ruth called “See ya soon, dog!” as she flew silently upward into the brilliantly lite sky full of moonlight.

I sat there looking at the wore out bird.  What a mess I have.  A chicken, of all things, way to heck up here in the yonder of the farm, and a huge need to get her home to Mom.

I laid down with my head on my front paws; staring at the bird/chicken/her, Ethie.

What a me…..I drifted off to sleep.  At some point, I flopped over on my side and stretched out…ahhh sure feels goo….zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

I woke up with a start!  Standing right over me was KING!!  I jumped up wide awake, almost trembling.  A buck deer with HORNS can sometimes mean trouble for canines.

“Hey, Little Buddy! Slow down! I just wanted to see what was going on here, why you were sleeping in the path, so to speak!”

“Tired, King.  Just got tired.  It’s okay. My little-feathered friend and I will be moving on at daylight.  Don’t do anything rash, King.  We aren’t planning on staying here.”  I am sorry to say I almost whined.

King raised his right hoof.  “Just relax. Tell me what’s going on and let me see if I can help you.”

Seeing that right hoof off the ground I must admit I pretty much stammered out the whole story.  Deer have very sharp hooves.

“Humm, I see.” King mused.  “So, Momma has gone onto the pasture, Ruth is in the sky somewhere and you are stuck with a farm-yard bird.”

“Yes, that pretty much sums it right up.”

“Okay, here goes…get that hen up and come with me.  I can at least get you to the Upper End Pasture and maybe down the farm road past the Little Cornfield.  If I can get you that far I think you can do the rest.”

I looked at King with his soft furry antlers, his very sharp hooves, and his TALL body and decided the answer to my worries had appeared!

Giving Ethie a push with my nose (not once but several times) she finally woke with a start, squawked when she saw King, tried to run off, but I held by her tail until she calmed down.

King and I explained our plan, she looked at us with very worried eyes, gave her feathers a shake and said: “Okay, let’s go.”

Then we were off.

It’s a good thing King was with us…King saw two foxes along the way.

One was fairly close,

but the other one up on the road part way.

King ran at both of them; they scattered.

Just as we passed the Upper End—King had to stop and talk to Momma for a spell, which was good, it gave Ethie and me a break, we started up the little rise which will take us to the farm road that went by the Little Corn field….a Coyote appeared!

I almost fainted! COYOTE!  I am mortally afraid of coyotes!

King froze. “Shhh,” he said. “Don’t make a sound.  Stand right where you are and don’t move.”

Ethie and I froze.

King froze.

I could hear the coyote walking ahead of us somewhere, very soft pads of footfalls.   They sounded like death to me.

Gradually the soft footpad sounds faded.

“Okay, you two let’s get to going. The night is fading and daylight is almost upon us.”

We took off again.

All Fun and Games! Chapter 2– A Sherlock Boomer Adventure—-Friday, June 1, 2018

Chapter Two

I start following my nose!  First my nose in the air, then my nose on the ground, back to the air, back to ground…there was a very interesting smell…. something I hadn’t smelled before.

Well, I had smelled it before…it smelled (faintly) of coyotes.

Now, please understand that I NEVER in and circumstance do I ever follow a trail which a coyote leaves behind.


But this trail was different.

This trail had a whole different smell over the TOP of the old coyote trail.

It smelled sorta dusty.

And sorta scared.

And sorta familiar…sorta…

I couldn’t figure it out.

So I trotted along sniffing and sniffing.

I faintly heard Mom call me.  Faintly.

Then a very far away sound of the four-wheelers starting up.

I knew I should go back…but…


This smell.

I cocked me head to one side and looked back to where Mom and Dad were and WHAM!

It hit me.

They were gone, and I was in the Back Forty…almost to the corner fence…the corner fence which borders our neighbor’s cows pasture and the other side

which borders Coyote Country.

Oh, well.  Mom and Dad were gone.

The day was starting to end, and the smell…was GETTING STRONGER!

I picked up my little Beagle paws, put my nose to the ground.  The next time I looked up I was at a stand of Rabbit Brush, Chico Brush and the corner fence.


Very strong.

I started sniffing here and there until I sniffed my way right up under a rather bushy Chico Brush, crouching down to crawl under the brush and found a….





The Adventures of Boomer on Friday—The Mystery Where I Use a Secret

Chapter Twelve


Ruth fluttered down from her high perch, in the sky landing softly right by my side and in front of the four young skunks and their Mom! “Are your humans going to take some sort of action?” Ruth questioned.

“Mom is going off to call Dad on her phone thing and let him know what to expect, and then Dad will come.  Mom has to go a distance away so the men in the blue tent can’t hear her.”  I explained to Ruth.

“Humm”, Ruth mused to herself.  “Do any of you have plan? I think we need to get together a plan. We might need to come up with something to help out.”  Ruth put the tip of wing up to her forehead, while resting that wing on her other wing. “Hooo Hooo a plan.  We do need a plan.”

Just then Momma skunk walked toward Ruth and I, I held my breath, sometimes skunks are scared of Owls…like, you know, because Owls do EAT skunks, sometimes.

Ruth just kept marching around in a tight little circle muttering to herself…hum, hoo, hum, hoo.

“Stop!” Momma skunk demanded. “Stop that fidgeting and lend your wise brains to this problem.”

Ruth opened her very large eyes looking quite startled; all fidgeting stopped. I sat myself down on my beagle tail and closed my mouth with a snap.

“Now listen here,” Momma Skunk began, “We wait for your humans to appear…when they appear we will……”

YES!! That is exactly the thing to do.

We all congratulated Momma skunk, when around the bend came my MOM!

Ruth, rose silently into the trees above us, “See you in a short while,” she whispered as she left our group.

Momma and her babies faded into the Rabbit brush along the edges of Coyote Hill and I—-

Well, I just sat there waiting for Mom to come to me.

But Mom wasn’t alone.  Right behind Mom was Dad and right behind Dad was three neighbor friends each one carrying a gun of some sort.

Mom silently walked up to where I was sitting, pointed to way down the slope to messy camp of trash, campfire, and blue tent, with four booted feet sticking out of the tent door.

“Looks like the campers just might be taking a nap,” Dad whispered. Then Dad pointed a finger toward where they had just come from and every one left me again.

I stayed right where I was, Mom had pointed her finger right at me and said “Stay” with out a sound coming out of her mouth at all.  I KNOW that finger point.  Yes, I do.

So, I stayed.

I actually had the best seat in the house.  I could see Ruth, Momma Skunk, Oreo and his siblings, the two sleeping men in the blue tent, and, gradually I could see; first Dad on one side of the tent, then on each of the other sides Dad’s friends.  Mom came back to where I was and gave me lots of pets, while she squatted down beside me.  Mom was just as prepared as all the others.  More so, because she had ME!

I saw Dad give the come-on signal and I was OFF!

I raced down the slippery slope, heading right toward the tent, growling and barking the whole time.  One of the men was pushing his way out of the tent door when I saw—-MOMMA SKUNK! OREO! And the rest of the family turned with their tails fanned all fluffy and high, Ruth had just landed on the top of tent sending a loud screech into the air, then I reached the now completely in the open trashy cigarette smoking man.

I heard Momma skunk yell: “AIM! FIRE!”

Ruth let out the most horrendous scream, I think I have ever heard.

I headed right into the fog of green skunk fumes, latched my jaws into the back pocket of the just immerged man getting material and the muscle of his behind!

He swirled around trying to get me off him, when the second man stumbled out the tent; Ruth leaped off the top of tent right on the top of the second man’s head, talons grabbing into the man’s cap and into the man’s hair.

The whole place was bedlam.  Skunk fumes, screaming men, and screeching owl.

Oh, by the way, did you know skunks can aim and fire a second volley of green fog?

They can.

Yes, they can.  I know. I saw it in action.

I don’t remember much of the details, I do remember Dad and all his friends and Mom arrived just about the time of the second ball of massive skunk fog surrounded those men, Ruth, me and the whole camp site.

It was a stinking mess, that is for sure.

The finish of this little tale is those two men walked into a set, each, of handcuffs.  The loot they had been collecting out here on our little mesa —- stored in another blue tent around the corner and right on the TRAIL of the coyotes—gathered as evidence.

It took several days before the site was cleared for Mom and Dad to go clean everything up.  Mom said she was glad they couldn’t be there for several days, because skunk fumes don’t go away until it rains.

As for Momma, Oreo, the rest of the little surfeit…they gave me high-fives, and big smiles, as they left the blue tent area and headed back up to the Upper End.

Ruth grumbled very loudly for a long-time high up in her tree…I do agree with her…I don’t think I’ve ever heard of an owl that smelled like a skunk.

What an adventure!  Mom wasn’t even mad at me, while she bathed me.  Although, I must admit, I sure got tired of being bathed…every day for three days.

On the other hand, Mom had to burn her clothes and Dad’s clothes.  Even if that WAS his favorite cap!

The End


P.S.  We couldn’t have done as well, if Momma and Oreo and all the rest hadn’t been there.  They were the true heroes of the day!

Boomer, Sherlock Beagle

The End (once more)





The Adventures of Boomer on Friday—The Mystery Where I Use a Secret

Chapter Eleven


“LINDA! COME OUT HERE!”  Dad called.

“Okay, just a minute!” Mom sat down her rake and took off her gloves, she placed them in the wheel barrel, then started walking toward Dad and me.

She was poking along!

I kept dancing around Dad…running around the big Butler bins, then coming back and dancing around Dad.   Getting humans to understand dog is R.E.A.L.L.Y hard!

Then Mom was very close, so I ran to her and circled her a few times; running back to the Butler Bins and down the gated pipe road.

“What IS up with Boomer?” Mom wondered out loud.

“Doesn’t seem right.” Dad replied.

“No, it doesn’t, maybe we should follow him.” Mom started following me on foot.  “I’ll go some little ways, if it looks like I’m understanding him, maybe you could come see what’s up on the four-wheeler.  Who knows he might need to show us something.”

Dad went back to whatever he was doing.  I don’t know what it was, at least I have Mom…Mom will know what to do.  I took off at a dead run.

Oops!  I forgot Mom can’t run!  I stopped at the end of the gated pipe and waited for Mom to catch up.  When she got close enough to see which direction I was going I took off at a dead run again…this time reaching the bridge over the new cement ditch.

Then I waited.

I did this all the way over to the equipment area, Mom following along behind.  Gradually we got to the bottom of Coyote Hill.

I was pure wore out. I sat down at the bottom of Coyote Hill and looked at the little trail, which led around Coyote Hill, into the hollow where the blue tent was pitched.

I just waited and looked.

Mom arrived.  She looked rather hot and sweaty, but she was here—that was something.

“What is it, Boomer? You act like there is something I need to see.  Go ahead show me.  Show me.  If I have to have Dad come help I’ll call him on the phone.  It’s okay…show me, Boomer.”

Now that I was here I got sorta, kinda, like really, afraid something bad might happen to Mom.

But Mom kept petting me and giving me courage—and she does have her cell phone and Dad does have his cell phone, so I started creeping slowly, ever so slowly toward the spot where the blue tent was.  It would never do to come up on those men in a big rush and get Mom hurt or something.

“Boomie”, Mom talked gently too me, “Good dog, show me what it is you are concerned over.”  Mom started following me slowly, ever so slowly.  I wish Mom would get down and crawl, but I don’t know how to tell her, so I kept on creeping and letting Mom walk tall toward the area, where the blue tent, and all the garbage, and the men with the cigarettes were living.

I didn’t know what else to do.

Then suddenly we were there…at the little rise with an out-crop of boulders where Mom could look over into the hollow and see the blue tent.

Mom walked up tall right behind me, started to sit down where I was sitting, “Wow, Boomie!  That was a fast clip ….”  Mom stopped in mid-sentence and froze right where she was in an almost sitting down pose.

“What is this!”  Mom whispered to herself.

“So, THIS is what you wanted to show us.”  Mom sank to her knees and peered over the largest boulder. “Actually, this is Not good, not good at all” Mom whispered to me, petting me while she talked.

Mom backed away from the boulder and started back down the little trail, I saw her take out her cell phone and start dialing.

Good, I thought.  Mom is—

“BOOMER! BOOMER!” A very loud whisper shouted in my ear. I jumped three feet and fell down right in front of OREO!  And not just Oreo, but Oreo and his whole skunk family plus his MOM!

Now what I thought!  Mom is talking to Dad, whom I’m sure is on his way over here, two cigarette smoking men camped on the farm, and a whole family of skunks standing a few feet away from me!

The Adventures of Boomer on Friday—The Mystery Where I Use a Secret

Chapter Ten


“WAIT, Boomer!  WAIT!” Oreo called.  “That is way too far for me to go.  First off, my little legs won’t keep up with you or Ruth, secondly my Mom won’t like it if I leave this area.  I’m only supposed to go so far this way, so far that way, and so-far any other way.” Oreo sat down in a dejected little lump of soft black and white fur.  “I just can’t go” he said tragically.

I walked over and put my paw on his soft little should, “No worries, Oreo.  I can do this.  I have Ruth and, if I have too, I’ll run back to the farm house and get Mom, Dad, or the both of them.”

Oreo looked up at me with the sweetest, saddest little black beady eyes, “I’m so sorry, Boomer.”

“It’s been good to know you, Oreo.  Let’s bump paws and hope to meet again someday.”  We bumped paws, I turned tail, looked up into the sky….way, way, up into the sky; located Ruth, the Wisest Owl of All Time, kicked my hind legs into gear and I was OFF!

I ran up Coyote hill, always keeping Ruth insight, then I ran over the top of Coyote hill, when I noticed Ruth was circling and circling coming closer and closer….that’s my signal, I thought.  The camp is near.

I put my belly to the ground and started slinking from one Rabbit brush to another Rabbit brush, making sure my shadow stayed out of the sunlight just incase the people in the camp happened to look UP onto the side of Coyote hill.

Ruth fluttered down into a large old dried out brush a few yards from me. “SHHHHHHHHH,” she whispered, one feather placed on her beak.  She looked at me, then swiveled her head clear around and pointed with her wing—right here her feathery wing said.  Right here.

I crept closer and closer…when I was right under Ruth’s perch, I looked down into the little valley between Coyote Hill and the hill where the old Apricot Orchard still kinda grows.

There they were!  Two men…a blue type of tent pitched right in the opening, junk strung all over the place…fried chicken boxes, taco papers caught in the sage brush, smashed beer cans and some shattered bottles flung up against a rock, little shards of glass sparkling in the sunlight.

There was a little camp stove sorta thing and the men lounging around SMOKING Cigarettes!

This is bad!  Very Bad!

I signaled to Ruth to follow me.  She raised up into the sky, on silent wings, and I crept backwards until I could get to curve around Coyote Hill.  At that point I trotted to the farm road and the old apricot tree.

Ruth settled into the branches of the Apricot tree.  “I’m heading back to the house,” I announced.  “This is bigger than You or I can handle by ourselves.  I’ll get Dad, or Mom, or Dad and Mom.  Can you stay here and keep an eye on them for me?  I’ll be back as soon as I can.”

Ruth shook her head yes and settled into the tree looking all the world as much as a branch as an owl can.

I gave her one last look; glanced at the draw, where the men were living, looked over, way over, way, way, over to the farm house picked my paws up and headed home to get Dad, or Mom, or Dad and Mom.