The Dog Tales #9, A Veritable Dismay - By Lillow Mi

   It was a windy day, potentially a dark and stormy night ahead, and Spike watched the trees bending over with concern. Usually people didn't howl during a windstorm, at least Spike's gang didn't, because of the competing noise, but also because of the way it interfered with the tornado and lightnings that the gang's howl raised. Each time they howled it caused a mini-storm that they'd all come to love. He hunkered down behind the wall where they liked to howl, watching. He wasn't sure why the wall was there but it was perfect in that it was sturdy, not very high and only about ten meters long so it kept nothing out and nothing in. It just stood, uselessly stable, a monument to wallish aspirations everywhere. 

   He noticed a movement, then saw Rover making his way across the meadow. His long ears stood up at times from the wind and clapped together, like hands clapping, while his lips fluttered and flapped. Unperturbed he plodded resolutely on, eyes half-lidded, perhaps resigned, applauding trees and bushes as he passed, who then bowed like actors. Spike was enchanted by this vision of Rover until Fido came bounding into view. Now his eyes went round as he observed Fido's unnaturally long bounds and stricken expression, then he was looking up as Fido flew by overhead, looking down at him with a very worried look. 

   “He usually doesn't bound that high,” Rover said walking up, watching Fido sail by while his ears applauded. As they watched Fido flew toward a manor window then, just before crashing into it, it flew open and two arms grabbed him and pulled him inside. 

   Ishmael stuck his head out and seeing the two Dogs staring up at him, smiled and waved. He shut the window and soon the back door opened and Fido came wobbling out. Being a smaller Dog of Scottish descent he walked with stilted legs, slowly and purposefully, bending to the wind. When he got to the edge of the porch he looked up and saw Spike and Rover watching him. Grinning wide and forgetting the wind he bounded off the porch and was immediately taken by a strong gust. Spike and Rover were both shocked at seeing him flapping his legs and flying wildly away as the wind carried him past the manor and toward Thagwood Forest. They both gazed with a veritable dismay.          

   Thagwood Forest was home to millions of faunae who typically have not had good experiences with Dogs, mainly due to the Dogs' automatic response to the unknown; either bark and chase or run and hide, and the unknown is most everything in the woods, them being farm Dogs and all. Knowing their own nature neither Spike nor Rover relished the thought of going into that forest and gazed at the trees with slack jaws and empty expressions. Despite this, Rover's ears applauded in a sudden gust. 

   They stared at the trees for quite a while before deciding to advance. It was late afternoon and they definitely did not want to be in Thagwood Forest after dark, especially in this wind. Having managed to start, they were now trying to hurry. When they got to the first copse of trees they stopped, unnerved at the prospect before them. There was a sizable stretch of meadow yet to go, while the wind still howled and the trees whipped around. They looked at each other with worried expressions and began walking slowly forward again. 

   “I wouldn't go in there if I was you,” Fido said from behind them.   

   They both whipped around, “Wha, wha, what, how, where did you come from?” Spike huffed as Rover held a paw over his heart and took deep breaths. 

   “I flew right on around the manor, didn't even go in there at all,” he said, pointing his nose at Thagwood. “I landed in some trees by the Golly Orchard and walked slowly and carefully back. Saw you guys and come over.” He looked around. “You just gotta be careful. No bounding, you know?” 

   “I'd say not,” Rover agreed, his ears quickly applauding Fido's heroic effort. 

   “Enough of this,” Spike growled, looking back at the manor. “Can't see howlin' during a hurricane. I think we need to spend this night indoors. Hang on!” 

   They held onto each other as they went to prevent being blown away. As they entered the main hearth room, they found Alley already there, curled up by the fire, listening to me tell stories. 

 

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