Thursday, November 4, 2010

Talons and Teeth

I enjoy my early morning walks, and will miss them when it gets too cold -- and I get too wimpy -- to head out before having my second cup of coffee.   You get to witness things you miss if you're still in bed, or zipping by in a car, the sorts of things that cause you to reflect on life in general.

For instance, this morning I had just finished the first half of my 4 mile jaunt, and was heading homeward.  I came off Melton Road (which I use to cut through to get to and leave Vaughn Road Park), turned right onto Wiley Road, then left onto Vaughn Lane when something sort of big caught my eye:

 coopers-hawk-1.jpg (331×450)

Now, I actually do see these hawks (and no, I did not take this picture) from time to time, but what I hadn't seen them do before was swoop out of their tree and chase one of these down.   

Squirrel.JPG (471×342)

I mean, talons were out and the hawk had actually begun to grab its prey, and I had flashbacks to every episode of Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom I ever watched with my Daddy, and I knew I needed to just let that whole survival of the fittest thing happen -- AND catch it on my iPhone camera.

As I whipped it out of my back pocket and lifted it to take my shot, the hawk startled, dropped his squirrel breakfast, and flew away.  I didn't get a picture, and worst of all, I feared I had somehow set off a little chaos theory thing.   

I am sure the squirrel was grateful, and I began to think lofty thoughts about how the little guy always gets picked on by the big guys unless a bigger guy steps in to intervene.  I was hearing tiny well-tuned violins playing as I scripted out the magnificently written, moving devotional I was going to make out of this.

Until I turned onto Aimee Drive, and began making my way up the first rise.  That's when I spotted a man in surgical scrubs out in his yard with his froofy dog, which looked sort of like this.

maltese.jpg (300×328)

Go on.  Get all gooey and gushy, and say "Awwwwww" a few dozen times.  It's okay.

You should click on that, by the way.

Okay -- you done now?

'Cause here's what happened!

That adorable little hound of hell came flying out in the street after me -- not once, not twice, but about 5 times! That boy's teeth were set to full bite mode, and I had the canine spit on my ankle to prove it.  

It took both the Very Nice Man in the Surgical Scrubs and me making many very strange noises and gestures, but finally Whackadoodle Dog gave up, satisfied he had scared off all threats to his master's peace and well-being.

It was at this point I began to rethink my Inspiring Message from the earlier incident.

Yes, I had saved Mr. Squirrel from the Big Bad Hawk, because I was bigger and badder, but I got my comeuppance from an animal with a festive bow on its head.  

Of course, now I could write a moving devotional about humility, I suppose.....

No animals were harmed in the writing of this blog. All of the pictures above are dramatizations of actual incidents, and none are the property of the writer.  It is entirely possible that the hawk pictured is not exactly the breed of hawk we have here; and the squirrel may be the Yankee version; and the dog?  Well. 

It was froofy-puffy white and that's as close as I can get to what sort of dog it actually was since I was traumatized.


  1. And why, pray tell, did Mr. Very Nice Man in the Surgical Scrubs, not have his Whackadoodle Dog by a leash?

  2. My best guess would be that Whackadoodle Dog intimidated him out of it!