Monday, July 19, 2010

The Hidden Squeaker

After we return from our morning run, I let Penny outside to do her security check, as we call it: scanning, sniffing and sprinting the backyard's fenced perimeter for bad guys, foreign smells and birds to herd into flight.

"Wanna go outside?" I ask and her tail-flipping-rump hits the screen door as she bolts for the back. A brownish blur. I walk to the kitchen for a glass of ice water and wait for her joyful furry face to appear panting at the door, but several minutes pass by quietly. No sign of a thirsty dog.

Curiously and slightly nervously, I venture outside. "Penny?"
I ask. 

No response.

At the top of the garden's steps, beneath the great oak tree, I find her. 

"Penny! STOP iT!.... Penny, stop! PENNY!"  I cry in shrill frantic desperation. 

She stands before the body of a dying squirrel. Her pretty yellow paws poke and prod, hoping her prey will play, but it just lays there, breathlessly crying for help. When I don't save it, Penny picks it up with her mouth and crunches the body gently between her teeth. (She's looking for the hidden squeaker.)

After accomplishing nothing, I run into the house. Outside the door to the bathroom, I hiss for the help of my husband. 

"Scott! Penny is killing a squirrel in the backyard. Help me. Please!"

"How did she catch-?"

"I don't know."

Scott goes to the backyard. When he finds Penny, she immediately drops the deceased and turns herself in.

"What should we do with it?" He asks.

"We drop the body in the river and NEVER speak of this again!"