December 4, 2018

Abby and the Feather

     Abby, spokes-dog for this blog, has adventures in her dreams. I know this because of her gyrations and squeaks while she sleeps. When we walk together outside our fenced courtyard, she is always on her leach, lest she escapes and experiences actual adventures without me. 
     Well, this particular day was not a good walking day.  Although the sun was out, it was 
plum cold, as *Peeper would say, especially for north Florida, where we are.  Still, chilly or not, a doggie must have her private moments, if you understand my meaning. I usually open the door, she disappears for a minute while I watch the sky, the trees, the- everything else and then she returns. 
     This time was completely different because there was a large whitish something near our St. Francis birdbath.  I did a double-take, but Abby didn't.  With a bark, she was gone and chasing a big bird right before our eyes!  Now, we have lived in our home for many years.  We've seen snakes, armadillos, turtles, deer, birds, all manner of critters inside our wall.  This bird was the first of its kind.
      So there was Abs, barking and chasing and chasing and barking this poor creature down our serpentine bricked path. They both disappeared behind the house. Aware the unstable bricks I amateurishly laid myself can, might, will and do upend and painfully clobber the ankle bones, I carefully trod to find the bird trapped in the corner of the fence by my not always wise, yet fearless, Chihuahua.  Not following Abby's example of fearlessness, I cowardly called the lawn man named Bruce. (Not my husband, in this case.)              "Just throw a bath towel over it," he instructed.  At my hesitation and prolonged silence, he took the hint and said, "Okay. I'll be right there." 
     In the few minutes I waited for him, I was able to snatch up Abby and put her in the house.  Less barking deflates the madness of the situation. I peeked around the corner of the house and the bird was flapping its wings, trying to raise itself enough to escape the six-foot fence. 
     Bruce then appeared with his own towel over his arm.  I stood near the gate, leaving him plenty of elbow room with which to maneuver back there with the bird.  In seconds, he returned to say, "I'll need a bigger towel."  I dashed inside to retrieve the largest and thickest beach towel we own.  His second attempt to capture the bird was positive.  When he came trotting toward the gate, bird completely covered and inside the towel, I was shocked to realize how huge it was.  It was far bigger than the largest Thanksgiving turkey I've ever seen! 
     Well, Bruce left the yard and passed behind the hedges for a moment. "I let the seagull go and it flew away, unharmed," he told me. Whew, I thought, and thank you, God! 
      Note the sweet feather, in the picture above, left behind on the pine straw of our yard, giving proof this happened.  The dog knew to protect me from this massive creature she had only ever seen at a distance, the same as I had.  Little Abby's bravery is as massive as the bird was in size. And I knew to protect the gull, somehow.  My somehow was to call the yardman.  The simple sequence of events ended happily and in my book, that's always the best way. 

(*Peeper is the grandmother in my Goodbye Lie series.  Her way of speaking is less than refined, but her love for her family versus her dislike of Aunt Noreen makes for some funny interactions.)