Words and pictures from the author of the Elizabeth Goodweather Appalachian Mysteries
Sunday, January 13, 2008
The weather's damp and chilly this morning and the Gang of Three plus Eddie have opted to sleep in, grabbbing a place on our bed. Maggie, Bear, and Jack often spend a good part of the night out in the woods, barking up trees and following interesting scents. Maggie, the hound, is the leader of the Gang -- the others defer to her superior tracking abilities. I've seen her stand at the end of our porch, black nose quivering as she assesses the possibilities in the air, while the other two sit patiently, waiting to be told where they're going. (I hope that their being out at night will convince the ever-growing deer population to avoid our yard and garden, but some recently gnawed-off collard plants suggest it's not working). The dogs usually return around four or five in the morning, trailing the smell of damp leaves and soil, exhausted but very happy, and my long-suffering saint of a husband lets them in.
I could wish, just for a single moonlit night, to be one of them -- to see and smell and hear with their sharper senses, to bound effortlessly up steep slopes, to be at home in the woods, a part of the wild world.
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