I was walking around the lake on Saturday, my MP3 player turned up a little louder than it probably should have been, when something managed to break through my thoughts.
Screams. High-pitched, little girl-like screams, coming from a yard on South Shore Drive.
It took just seconds to realize what the commotion was about, and by then it was too late … a lanky dog had burst out from behind a pine tree with a critter in its mouth … a critter with a long and hairless tail.
Chasing the dog … a group of four teenage guys. In front of the dog … me.
Yeah, not exactly the kind of peaceful adventure I had hoped for.
My first thought wasn’t, "What do I do?," but rather, "Is that a possum in his mouth?"
I was looking into the sun, so it was kind of hard to tell. All I could see was the hairless tail dangling as the dog bounded in my direction.
Ordinarily I would have let out a hearty scream, but Kenny Chesney’s country crooning in my earbuds kept me calm, cool and collected.
Besides, the guys looked like they had the situation under control (that’s what I told myself!) The one, I’m assuming the dog’s master, latched onto the dog collar and made the dog drop his catch. By this time, I was about even with the dog … he a good six feet from the curb and me, picking up my pace and continuing on my journey.
I looked long enough to see a terrified and injured muskrat (not quite as disgusting as an opossum, but certainly one of God’s creatures I haven’t learned to appreciate!) I thought about asking the guys if they had a gun to put the rat out of its misery, but I was in a hurry to keep going and round the next bend … I wanted to get as far away from that critter as I could get!
You just never know when an injured muskrat could come up behind you and bite you in the ankle!