Truth really is stranger than fiction, and those who know me know that I am visually creative, but I am not much of a creative writer. So, this tale is absolutely non-fiction.
Several months ago, my husband and I adopted Vasco, a handsome salt-and-pepper, high-energy German shorthaired pointer mix. This guy needs to run hard at LEAST once a day. Yesterday morning, given the late sunrise time of fall, he and I took his glowing ball to the local school field for such a run. At some point, he dropped the ball and we lost it. We looked then, we looked later that afternoon, and then.
This being the following day, I thought, “Okay, it’s early evening. The sun was shining on the ball. It’s dark now. If the ball is there, we’re going to see it.” My studly husband happens to be out of town. I happen to be reading Bram Stoker’s Dracula (getting to the climactic end). As Vasco and I went out the side door, our protective neighbor happened to be there at his side door, which mirrors ours. Said he, “Look, if my wife wanted to take our dog out right now, I would not let her do it. It’s not safe. I’m going to take our dog out in a bit- let me take Vasco when I take our dog.” Oh, phooey! I’m fine! Vasco and I are just going to look for our glowing ball.
We approached the entrance to the school yard. Hooded figures milled around cars parked in the street. Three of them actually blocked the stairway entrance to the school. Excuse me here- I’ve been picking up trash lately in this area of the school yard. Apparently, I’ve been picking up the trash of these mini-grim reapers (lots of Doritos and sugary drinks. ??!!). As Vasco and I approached, I boldly excused us and said we would be looking for our glowing ball, and, by the way, had they seen it?
Now I am laughing out loud. These guys could have been oppositionally defiant, angry young men without consciences and I spoke like an insane alien huntress. Fortunately, [the typically overly-friendly] Vasco decided to bark once but quite aggressively after we passed the hoodlums to commence our search.
The quest was one hundred percent innocent and unsuccessful. The three occluding figures had moved back to the darkness of the street as we were leaving, so Vasco and I slinked out without interaction. Then, from the dark porch of a house close to the school yard’s entrance, an older man’s voice with a Scottish accent, “Why, yer a very brave young lady, going to the school by yerself at this time of night.” -This is not a joke.- “Really?” “Yup, they’re here every night, hovering and making trouble. Ye best not be coming around, especially without yer dog.” Okay.
As I walked by our wise neighbor’s house, it so happened that he was at the door. I humbly stepped up his walkway and said, “You’re right. I won’t do that by myself again.” We laughed together and I quickly and rather spazzily ushered Vasco in to the side door, locking it with much more grim alacrity than usual.
I suppose what I should say is, “Happy [early] Halloween!” But I’m really just happy to be safely locked in with Vasco and Dracula. My dear friend just told me that one of the most important lessons she has learned is that the best adventures are unplanned. How true! And there I was two hours ago, trying to decide what to write! Fortunately, my naivete escorted me past the teenaged grim reapers this evening. I’m off to crochet, snuggled on the couch. Other thoughts can wait until next week. IF I survive…
which I think I will.