October 30, 2016


1. Augie sniffs and digs excitedly in a pile of leaves. “What is it, boy?” I imagine something exotic, like raccoon spoor or a lost wallet. No, it’s a chocolate chip cookie.

2. Miffed by my cookie confiscation, Augie antagonizes a crow hopping nearby, who retaliates by divebombing us for a half-block.

3. A Chihuahua sneaks out the front door of a house across the street. It spots us, snarls, and charges, pursued by a gray-bearded man in overalls. The tiny hellhound is in full-attack mode, and it looks like it’s curtains for Augie and me. Then the Chihuahua gets mere steps away and freezes, motionless, until being safely scooped up by its owner. (Perhaps it sensed that Augie, deprived of his cookie, was a dog with nothing left to lose.)

4. Augie notes an apparition inflating behind a frontyard tombstone. He barks at it until the wraith shrinks down again. Absurdly satisfied at having vanquished his foe, the dog continues. (Meanwhile, the wraith automatically inflates up again behind us.)

5. We see our neighborhood’s coolest yards, then return home, exhausted from our exploits. We revive ourselves with mulled wine and kibble.

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