A Most Unusual Night

It had been a night at home like many others.
Routine - Linda watching HGTV; I writing poetry.
At ten Linda went to bed - now safe under the covers.
Past midnight, it is time for our walk - the dogs and me.

Corgi Rusty and I both go to the front door.
Nellie’s Pepper, an old Shih Tsu acquainted much
with the tyranny of Time, doesn’t move as fast anymore.
Looking back, Rusty emits a deep-throated growl. Now such

is strange behavior! He does like to bark. He does love to howl.
“What’s with you tonight? You want Pepper to hurry along?”
The hair on Rusty’s neck bristles as he begins another growl.
“I’ve NEVER heard you growl like this? Is something wrong?”

Pepper comes plodding up as I look out the front door.
“There’s nothing out there. Quit growling and come outside.”
Pepper hurries out. Rusty follows, still growling from his core.
Now getting nervous, I check places something bad might hide.

Instead of walking up the block with Pepper and me,
Rusty lingers in our front yard. “Come on, Rusty.
Why are you acting like this? You had better be
taking care of ‘business’. Come on, or I’ll have to get crusty.”

As we re-enter the house, Rusty launches into his deepest growl.
“You’re sure going to be sorry that you didn’t ‘go’ after a while.
Hmmm, I don’t recall having left that back door open.” A scowl -
“Dammit, dog! Your growling has my imagination running wild...”

Harry Edward Gilleland      06.25.02