I’m going to mess with Susan’s prompts because I have a neat story to tell that lasted only thirty seconds. But, to tell that story, I have to give some background. And, no, Puff the Magic Dragon has nothing to do with it.
My neighbors (yes, those guys) have (or had) a pit bull. When they moved in last year the man of the house would take him out, on a leash, and walk him around the neighborhood. Occasionally he’d remove the leash and let the dog run around close to the house. If he got too far away, the guy would whistle and the dog would trot back home. The dog seemed so well-behaved that you’d think you could put a grape vine on him and lead him around. A couple of times he came over toward me, not appearing aggressive, just seeming to check me out. The guy whistled and the dog went back home.
After a few months he and the dog both left. It wasn’t any kind of hush-hush thing, but I think he got kicked out because it was only a month or so before a new boyfriend moved in. A couple of months ago that guy disappeared and, about that same time, the dog was back. The difference is that there’s no leash anymore. The neighbors open their front door and let him run around the neighborhood.
Last week I went out to get the mail and the pit bull came charging at me! Barking, snarling, and baring his teeth -- it scared the heck out of me. I don’t know what I did that changed his mind, but I advanced on him, stomped my foot, and shouted at him to get away from me. He backed up and I did it again. He turned and ran into the house and I stood there for about five minutes yelling at the neighbors about what would happen if that dog attacked me again. (Let me point out that I’m a Marine and I have a pretty loud voice when I want to use it. I wanted to that day!)
Neighbor came out to the front door, said she was sorry, she’d take care of it, and went back inside. Okay, calm down, Max, breathe, go inside and pour a big glass of Jack Daniels. She apologized; she said she’d take care of it; so let it go.
This past Sunday morning I had to go to the store. I turned on the security system, closed and locked the front door and the screen. I had taken about four steps when I saw the pit bull coming around the back of the neighbor’s SUV. He charged me, again snarling and barking and -- I had nowhere to go. I took a couple extra steps to the corner of the house and pulled my security sign out of the ground and started waving it at him like a sword.
I have no idea how long he snarled and snapped at me, but it seemed like a long time, and then the neighbor and her son came out and called the dog back into the house. How long was it really? Time seems to stretch out forever when you’re in a situation such as that. I’m guessing thirty seconds, but it might have been as little as twenty -- I just don’t know.
My parting shot to them? “I’m calling animal control!”
In retrospect, I only wish someone had videotaped that incident. Not for legal purposes, but just so I could see myself playing Robin Hood, swinging that sign like a sword and keeping that animal at bay!
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Prompts: Make this one cover a very brief moment in time, as short a time as you possibly can; use the words: vine, hush-hush, and puff; pay attention to the title, but only use ONE word; tag with gwwe; and publish by August 31st for inclusion in next week's column
Note: The picture is included to provide a sense of distance for the story.