Archive for January 18th, 2011

It was a time before the snows fell, a time when gas was still under three dollars a gallon and there were still only 12 Zodiac signs. The leaves were already off the trees and the forest floor was spongy from the rains. Nairb opened his eyes just before dawn, in truth he didn’t know or care when Dawn opened her eyes, it didn’t matter as Dawn has nothing to do with the tale being told. The sun however, had not yet crested the horizon. One thought entered Nairb’s head ‘check the sump pump!’ It had indeed been checked the previous night but like all things mechanical sometimes the sump pump fails.

Alone and miserable Nairb, fortified in jeans, a sweatshirt, light jacket and a trusty flashlight went out into the cold driving wind and rain. Down he went into the desolate world of spider webs, insulation and cement. The root cellar housed the heating unit for the house along with the main water intake and of course, the sump pump.

The cold dirty water flowed over the tops of his boots. Instantly his feet were freezing. Gritting his teeth against the cold in his boots Nairb sloshed over to the sump pump and deeper water. Quickly he tapped on the hose waking up the sleeping beast.

Nairb waited, his only comfort was the circle of light his flashlight provided. His feet so cold they were tingling, but hunched over the sump pump he waited to make sure the water went down. Eventually he saw the change, the water was slowly retreating. Nairb headed back into the driving rain his freezing feet swimming in his boots. Finally making it to the front porch, looking into the window he saw his beautiful wife, Ecyned getting ready for work after all it was only Thursday. Nairb bent, removed his boots and lifted them so his wife could see as he dumped the river from them. Ecyned’s eyes opened wide.

Nairb opened the front door and peeled off his soaking socks, the door closed behind him but did not latch, DID NOT LATCH! Almost crying from the cold it was all Nairb could do to make it to the bedroom and dry his burning feet. Ecyned, his loving wife and fast thinker got a second pair of socks and headed for the laundry room where she could toss them in the dryer to heat up to ease the pain in Nairb’s aching feet.

The laundry room doubles as Aiouqes bedroom (my apologies, Denyce backwards is hard enough to pronounce Sequoia’s is almost impossible).

In opening the laundry room door Ecyned freed the dog, Aiouqes into the rest of the house. And unknown to all the front door had not latched, THE FRONT DOOR HAD NOT LATCHED! Nairb, trying to warm his feet in the bedroom heard the dreaded call from the front room. “Aiouqes! Get back here! Aiouqes! Nairb Aiouqes got out!” Nairb threw on a fresh pair of jeans, didn’t even bother with socks. Donned his black sweatshirt, slipped his feet into his running shoes, and followed his wife and the dog out the door into the freezing rain and driving wind.

He caught a glimpse of Aiouqes as she darted behind the garage. Nairb followed heading into the woods calling out in his loudest voice ‘Aiouqes! Aiouqes!’ In the distance he could hear his wife also calling for the dog! Unfortunately it was the start of buck season. In central Pa most men live for two only two reasons, hunting and football. Neither Nairb nor Ecyned were wearing orange. Aiouqes with her large plume tale and red and white colouring could easily be mistaken by an overzealous hunter for a buck and both Nairb and Ecyned could easily be shot for running through the woods yelling and screaming scaring all the deer away.

Freezing tired and soaked to the bone Nairb kept trailing Aiouqes it was a difficult task as he would catch glimpses of her but if he followed too close Aiouqes would think it was a game and keep running. But if he gave up it was a good bet that Aiouqes would just run and be lost forever, that is what huskies do, they run.  Finally Aiouqes turned and headed back towards civilization, Nairb chased her through the yards of many neighbours. He spied his wife through the trees; she was in the car driving up and down the road. Aiouqes was heading in the right direction, heading for home via the backyard of a neighbour. Nairb managed to jump up and down attracting the attention of his wife, using hand signals (stupidly he neglected to pick up his cell phone as he ran out the door earlier) he let Ecyned know that the dog was heading towards the house. Nairb turned a corner around the side of a house and lost track of Aiouqes she simply vanished in the driving rain.

Nairb ran onto the street calling her name. Exhausted shivering losing feeling in his fingers and toes Nairb stood on the street calling and calling. From behind he heard a voice. The neighbour in full hunting gear was standing on his door step demanding to know what was going on.

“My dog got away from me”

“The red and white husky? It is a miserable day for her to be out and about”

“Yes I know, I managed to keep her in my sights but lost her in your backyard”

“Well I just got back from my hunting camp and didn’t see her, but I’ll keep an eye out”

Suddenly there was movement from behind. There she is! Nairb was tired and at a crossroads. Aiouqes stood deep in the lawn across the street. Nairb knew that if he approached Aiouqes would run again. He got onto his knees on the wet pavement, patted his chest and called out to her. Aiouqes went into play bow enjoying the game and would not come.

“If I called her would she come to me?” Said the large man in his hunting fatigues

“You could try, she likes strangers.”

He called her name and whistled, Aiouqes unable to resist anybody new moved a step closer. A car was coming down the street, Nairb seeing the possible light at the end of the tunnel stepped into the street blocking the car from advancing, the large man called again. Without missing a beat Aiouqes went running to the large unfamiliar man calling her name. The large hunter closed his front gate trapping Aiouqesvon his porch. Nairb standing in the street frozen, wet and weary asked the hunter,

“Do you want a husky? Only five dollars and I’ll give you the fiver.” The hunter only laughed and Nairb thanked the hunter as he secured the leash to the collar and led the wet dog down the porch. Ecyned drove up the road in the car, relieved to see Aiouqes safe and secure. Ecyned opened the car door, both Aiouqes and Nairb were only too happy to jump in, Nairb thanking the hunter again before closing the car door.

Tonight, gas is up past three dollars a gallon there is snow on the ground, an extra zodiac sign has been added to the zodiac calendar, Nairb and his lovely wife Ecyned sit in their recliners, finally enough time has passed that Nairb can tell this tale without feeling that sick feeling in the pit of his stomach while Ecyned plays a video game.

Aiouqes? She is lying on her back in the kitchen, paws in the air, (like she just don’t care) in her mouth is a utility bill which she has grasped by the corner and is wiggling on her back making the paper flop back and forth across her cheeks. I think I’ll keep my five dollars and my dog. But now, no matter what we make sure the door is latched. THE DOOR IS LATCHED!

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