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Archive for June, 2016

On track

It was almost twilight this past Sunday when I noticed the footprints.

As I was getting in my car, I spied a couple of sets of animal tracks in the almost dry dirt between my house and the hill.

I hadn’t seen them there two hours before when I got home from the store.

My mind started working out the possibilities. I got out of the car.

I pulled out my Sherlock Holmes magnifying glass (my smartphone’s camera) and took a closer look.

Definitely two different animals.

Did I mention that I used to be a Boy Scout? I wish I still had my old Boy Scout manual.

No cleft in the track, so it wasn’t from the doe and her fawn that I have startled in the yard several times in the past few weeks.

Too compact to be a rabbit. Too small to be a bear. Too big to be a possum or raccoon. Definitely a mammal, though, which eliminated the turkey family that hangs out on Collier Bend Road.

“What’s left?” I said to no one in particular.

Coyotes and bobcats, my mind replied. Maybe a panther.

I consulted my esteemed colleague, Mr. Google.

“Dog,” Google said.

“Dog?” I scoffed. “Dogs bark. How in the hell do two dogs walk between the hill and the house with me inside watching TV and not bark?”

I asked Mr. Google to double-check coyote tracks.

He did. “Dog,” was still his answer.

“Can’t be a dog,” I said. “There hasn’t been a dog here since …”

I paused. I do that sometimes when my memory wakes up from a nap.

“… John and Kathy were here with their two dogs yesterday.”

Old age is not going to be kind to me.

dogtracks

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