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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Blue (10/08/09)

TITLE: Mirage
By Genuine Suede


As I typed away at my computer, I gradually became aware of an irritation
that finally got my full attention and made me look out the kitchen window.
That darn dog was barking at the buffalo again. I went to the screened door
and yelled.

“Blue! C’mere you dumb cur!” I was pretty peeved at him. We’d been over
this many times before.

Blue continued his yapping in the trees and was oblivious to my hollering.
He was in the buffalo field again, harassing the devil out of them as he does
as soon as I disappear from sight. It sounded like he had his victim
cornered, this time.

Baloo was his real name--my boy named him after that Disney bear. We got
him and his brother, Buster, the year before to warn us when a bear was
around. Must have been doing a good job since the only bear I’d heard
about all summer was a grizzly sighted down the road a couple of miles. I’m
terrified of bears, so, as much as I hated Blue’s incessant barking, I hated
my fear of bears more.

I hollered again, and again the yapping continued.

I pushed my way out onto the deck and revved my vocals up a few notches.

COME...BACK...HERE!” I looked over at Buster. He’d been lying on the
deck, snoozing, minding his own business until all this racket started. He sat
up and took an interest in the field.

I was real angry now. I do not like being ignored by my dogs. I looked
around for something to make loud clanging noises with but only found a
broom. “BA-LOOOOOO!” I thumped the broom on the rail for emphasis.
The handle snapped under the force. I flung it into the air in disgust.

Blue’s yapping went quiet. All of a sudden, he came barrelling around a
patch of tall willows running flat out, shoulder-checking every other second,
keeping an eye on what chased him.

An angry buffalo charged around the trees after him, its head down,
pounding the ground as it closed the distance between it and Blue. The
buffalo’s great hump was distinct in its silhouette.

You stupid dog, you’ve gone and done it now, I thought. The buffalo was
gaining on him, thrusting hard with its powerful hind legs, covering the
ground in huge bounds, the front paws grabbing for ground and pushing off
again, raising clouds of dust in its wake. I watched in dismay, mesmerized,
thinking the poor dog was literally going to get pounded into the dirt.

It was a magnificent animal, its long shaggy dark brown hair blending with
shades of golds and tans. But something wasn’t right. My eyes strained to
focus. I froze. That was no buffalo! That was a grizzly bear! And my dog
was leading it right to me.

Please, God--help! I was terrified. My stomach wanted to dispense with its

About that time, Buster seemed to sense Blue’s distress and shot off the
steps to join him. I watched Blue race for the gate; the only means of
escape was still hundreds of yards ahead and the bear was right behind him.
About that time, Buster reached the gate, slipped through it and tore off
towards the bear, ready to do battle.

With the second dog approaching like a freight train, growling deep in its
throat, threatening to kill or be killed, the bear slowed and wheeled. It
bounded in long reaching strides back across the field toward the safety of
the bush. Blue found new courage and turned to follow Buster. Together
they chased that bear back to the trees it had come from and beyond. I
never saw it again.

Because I saw that one dog didn’t even faze that huge bear--that it would
have chased it right up to the house, and probably eaten it--but completely
changed its mind when faced with two dogs, I know I won’t ever just have
one dog again. Not as long as I live out in the wilderness the way I do.

As for the dogs, they’re both gone now--years ago. I have new ones that
bark when anything moves out there. They’re barking right now as I type,
but I’ll be darned if I’m going to interfere.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Ruth Brown10/18/09
Anyone upset by a barking dog would understand this!Well written.