Birdie and the Bad-uns

The dogs were barking again. Focused on something in the distance, they stood atop the snow bank at the edge of Birdie’s circle drive and warned away the “bad-uns”. Birdie looked out the window,  through the trees, searching for their concern–for what was motivating their protective reaction. She couldn’t see anything that would warrant the “don’t come any closer” sound they were making.

The dogs and Birdie went through this ritual almost every morning. She figured they had detected a “bad-un” way over there, beyond the pond, among the trees. Perhaps a neighbor’s dog making his morning rounds, marking territory that was clearly not his own,  and since the deep snow made it hard to pursue him, they used their “Get out of Dodge” bark. The problem for Birdie was that they kept barking long after the intruder had disappeared.

“Maybe they’re boasting, possibly flinging insults at the cowardly retreating enemy, or threatening anyone else who might be considering the same trespass,” thought Birdie. But she suspected that it was more of an “I’ve started barking and I can’t quit” kind of thing. So, Birdie would go over to the window and tap on the glass to get their attention. That would hit their reset buttons, and she would have peace for about fifteen minutes or so, until the next “bad-un” came through.

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