Thursday, July 16, 2009

Business as usual

I went for a bicycle ride early this morning. You have to get out early to beat the heat this July. On my way back I could see coming down a hill that two Labrador Retrievers were nosing around in the corner of a maize field ahead. I knew these dogs to be aggressive. Across the road, with his back to me, was a Great Dane. I'd tangled with all of them before. I hoped to sneak by them but just as I got within twenty feet or so of one of the Labs, my movement, noise, caught her attention, and she turned on me. I went straight for her, she ran off across the road and I made my turn left. The second my back was to her she charged. The other Lab was close too and the Dane, old as he was, was gallomping his self hard to get in on the action. The first, then the second, Lab, got a taste of my right foot. I popped both of them in the nose real hard. My knee was fully cocked when I let fly. They peeled off and fell back and I jumped on the pedals, outdistancing them. I could hear and see the Dane out of the corner of my left eye. His huge nails scraping on the asphalt added a funny kind of staccato background to the deep throated rumbling that he issued for a bark.

Meanwhile, up ahead, a pickup swerved in order to run over a large snake. I pulled up and these two guys, young construction workers, watched this corn snake in its death throes. I asked one guy who got out to take a picture, to stomp his head. Put the creature out of its misery, you know. He ignored me, concentrating on his cell phone camera. The driver said there was a board in the back. It was a two by four about four feet long. I stradddled the thing and bludgeoned its head to a pulp and wished all a good day as we parted company. It was friendly. Just three guys having a chance encounter over the death of a feared reptile.

Its not easy losing the love of your life and then getting attacked by a pack of dogs and then having to put a snake out of its misery.

After what I have gone through in the past two weeks I thought this was somehow a double bad omen. And, last night, I dreamed of rats.

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