Last week as most of you know, I had the pleasure and privilege of “going home” for a few days. We only got to spend a couple of days with my parents so hubby wanted to cook a great meal for them. Wednesday morning we went out to breakfast with my mom and dad and then to the grocery store so hubby could start on his fabulous meal.
He made Shrimp Creole and rice and he also made two lemon meringue pies (my dad’s favorite) and his famous cream puffs (my mom’s favorite). Of course this involved his being in the kitchen almost all day. I had tried to do a little cleaning for my mom and it was thankfully a beautiful day (the day before the cold front moved in). Around 3:30 or 4:00 hubby had to run out to the car to get something and I had let little Chorizo follow him outside without his leash because he had been behaving so well around my parents two much larger dogs (they have a black and a yellow lab).
As hubby got to the front door and I reached down to pick up Chorizo he took off like a bat out of hell! I thankfully was standing right by the leash so I grabbed it and ran after him thinking that he’d get to the edge of the yard or run through the field and come back. No way! I first was calling to him in a sing song voice trying to cajole him back but that quickly turned to a panicky screaming as he kept going and going and going…like a little energizer bunny. The more he ran the more panicked my voice became. I guess it matched how panicky I felt.
He did go up with us in July when we had the Celebration of Life for my brother Monte but he had ridden up in the vehicle and we had gone up a different way, by way of the quarry. Well, he ran and
both Crow and Queenie, my mom’s dogs, ran right after him. I told my mom later that the whole time I was running after him that song “Battle of New Orleans” kept running through my brain. You know the one? He ran through the briars and he ran through the bramble and he ran through the bushes where a rabbit wouldn’t go. He ran so fast that the hounds couldn’t catch him, down the Mississippi to the Gulf of Mexico!
I swear I think if I hadn’t finally caught him he would have been in New Orleans! He would run just as fast as his little legs would go and get just out of sight and stop and wait for me to get about 10 feet from him and he’d take off again. It was like he was leading me somewhere and he seemed to know exactly where he headed. He got to the first fork in the road and headed straight up towards the old home place. He had never been there on foot so I don’t know how he knew where he was going but he kept on going. He got to the second turn off towards the quarry which is the way he had ridden with my dad and mom and I in their vehicle in July but instead of heading that way he went straight up the road still heading towards the old home place.
He got to the first big open field and ran off into the field. I was panicking and out of breath and struggling greatly to keep up. I really and seriously wanted to sit on this huge boulder that was on the side of the road and wait for him to get it out of his system but I was truly afraid some huge critter would use him as a “scoobie snack” if I didn’t keep following him. Lions and tigers and bears! Oh my! They may not have lions and tigers but they surely have bears and bobcats and coyotes and who knows what else lurking in those woods!
I had on my worn out flip flops that are slick on the bottom and they are definitely NOT the shoes you want to be wearing on a LONG walk over slick worn rocks covered by dead leaves. I was slip sliding like I was ice skating. No jacket, no water, no decent shoes on and he kept going. He ran around the field like a frenzied cracked out ho running from her pimp and then came running back to the road. We were about a half mile or so from my parents and I’m thinking “Thank GOD! I’m gonna be able to grab him!”
NO SUCH LUCK.
He ran away from me still heading towards the old home place and then into another field and around and around like a whirling dervish. Queenie stopped to squat and pee and I got to her about the time she finished and Chorizo came running up to sniff and check it out and just as my fingers grazed his collar he took off again. And he didn’t head up to the graveyard or back towards my mom and dad’s but he still headed straight up towards the old home place. He was leading the other two dogs and I’m still panting, bringing up the rear.
We got to the clearing where you can cut off and go through the field up to the old home place but he kept going up the road. I was scared to death he’d run off in the woods and end up as a bear snack since my parents had that huge bear that had been hanging out there back in May. I was more afraid of him getting eaten by something than I was for myself! Then it dawned on me that in my whole life I have NEVER been up to the old home place by myself. I think that thought scared me more than anything! I was kind of hoping that one of the hunters might be hanging out up there so I wouldn’t be up there by myself.
All those old memories of the house being haunted started filling my head and I swear I was brought back to being that 8 or 10 year old girl laying in the upstairs bedroom scared out of my wits listening to the sound of the **thump**clump** of Peg Leg’s ghost thunking up the stairs as I covered my head and
burrowed under the quilts whispering frantically to my brother to save me! I was honestly afraid to even look at the house at first. I don’t know what I was afraid of. Did I think I’d look up and see Big Mama standing on the porch drying her hands on her apron? Or Grandaddy sitting on the glider holding out his arms to me to come and sit on his lap? Or maybe Uncle Bo sitting there on the swing drinking a beer and smoking a cigarette with Monte, laughing and telling their tales? I don’t know what I was afraid of but my heart was pounding in my chest and it wasn’t just from the long trudge up the hill.
I still didn’t see Chorizo even though I called and called. I pulled the old garden hose out of the ground where it’s rigged to bring the water off the mountain and enjoyed a long cool drink of fresh mountain spring water, thinking of how many times I’ve done that through the years. I called him again hoping he’d hear the water and come running but he didn’t. I replaced the old hose as I’ve done so many times throughout my life and looked around. I started walking around the house still afraid to look directly at it or through the windows. I finally caught a glimpse of him way out in the field beside the house. The hunters had erected a scare crow out in the field and thankfully it was doing its job because it scared Chorizo enough that it stopped him in his tracks.
At first I think he thought it was a real person because he was wagging his tail but as he got closer he realized it wasn’t a person but he didn’t know what it was. He’d get about a foot from it and jump back and then creep a little closer and jump back. As I got closer he started running away from it. Thankfully
I saw a HUGE mushroom in the field that he’d already uprooted so I grabbed a big chunk of it and held it towards him and enticed him close enough that I could grab him. I’m so glad I grabbed his leash because I can’t imagine having to have carried him all the way back to my mom and dad’s house squirming like a little wiggle worm the whole time. It’s about a mile pretty much straight down the mountain via a rutted dirt “road”.
I did take a few pictures while I was up there, including the one of the barn I posted on Wednesday. It was very peaceful and quiet and I would have tried to get up my nerve to go and take some pictures closer to the house but I wasn’t sure what time the sun was going to set and I surely didn’t want to be caught out in the woods when it did. Plus I was still being a chicken and was afraid of what I’d find if I got too close! Queenie and Crow beat us back because they went straight back home and Chorizo had to explore every rock and mushroom and puddle he could find.
He and I both slept very soundly that night. I still don’t know how in the world he knew how to get up there by himself or how he knew which way to go each time we came to a fork in the road. I don’t know what was calling him up there or how he led both the other dogs and myself up there and why he kept
going. I simply cannot explain it. I guess he was pulled there by some unseen force and I was pulled right along with him.