The days that followed lulled me with their placidity, in spite of the frenetic pace set by the closing of the school year and the end of a myriad of extracurricular activities. Even our visitors had arranged a few days of asylum at a monastery in the Arizona desert, where the heat was made bearable inside the pristine oasis.
Though my family did not join our travelers, we did wake to go to church on Sunday morning. Perhaps no match for Arizona climate, our temperate heat afforded me the opportunity to throw on a linen dress and some pumps. Primped and ready to go, I heard none other than the occupants of the nethermost portion of my garden shrieking like madwomen for mercy. Gruff growling and menacing barks accompanied the tragic outcries.
Once again I took to the stairs, just as swiftly as always following the familiar path to the lower lands of mystery and horror. No chickens. Not one. Yet, there lay not one feather in sight! A stunning creature with grey-blue eyes, a shiny sleek grey coat, drool puddling beneath him and excitedly sniffing out his next meal stared at me in stupor and astonishment. "Monster". If ever there were a more ill-fitting name assigned to a pitbull, I would like to know.
I called to him cautiously and he mounted the hillside. Monster was happy to "sit" while I scoured the premises for my flock in ankle length gown and kitten heels. My girls were masters of disguise! Either that, or Monster was one really stupid dog! Tucked into the drying brush of the hillside, they were all safely nestled, motionless, playing dead.
One by one, I gathered my friends and safely put them back into the coop. All except Clio and Fluffy-foot. They were nowhere in sight.
The children had come to the gate at this time and I urged them to go get the neighbors so they could please collect their dog. Unfortunately, after more than half an hour of ringing bells and knocking on the door, I was forced to call the SPCA. Sweet as Monster seemed, I could tell he was not calling an end to his mission. He sniffed about feverishly making his way under fences from our property, through the neighbor's and back to his, always coming back for more.