I was sitting there puzzled and confused when Ruth decided to make a comeback. Only this time she didn’t swoosh down on me and frighten me, she glided silently onto the corral post nearest me and hooted!
“RUTH!” I barked up to her…”Did you see who that was that looped down the road and across the street into the other people’s yard?”
“HOOOOOO!” Ruth replied, “WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO?”
“Go across the road, Ruth and see if there is anything or anyone over there who is new to the neighborhood!” I yelled. “BUT HURRY! They might be gone!”
Ruth fluffed up her feather, raised her mighty wings and took off…gliding silently over the road and into the neighbor’s yard. She perched on a giant old cottonwood tree stump which was at least forty feet in the air.
“Whoo, hooo” I heard her faint call. “WHOO!”
I watched her walk around on top of the giant old cottonwood tree stump, walking this way and that way. Then she lifted her wings and silently flew back to me. This time landing right by me on the ground, raising dust as she landed.
“Well,” I cocked my head to the left, then I cocked my head to right.
“I don’t know…I didn’t see anything or anyone. Nothing.”
“Oh, darn. That’s okay. We’ll just move on. I have a HUGE mystery to solve, and whomever that was isn’t the mystery…I guess…. I hope, geez, I wonder if it was?”
Ruth and I took off patrolling the site—round and round the hen house, the horse barn, the dog kennels, and the garage we went. Ruth in the air and I with my trusty nose to the ground. Gradually we even made it clear around the corrals.
“Hey, Beagle! I’m getting tired. See you later”…and with that Ruth left me.
Well, I guess that is what happens when you work with an Owl—no patience.
I kept on sniffing and studying, but being very careful to stay well away from the old Apricot orchard and the pasture of Number 8 and her group of fifteen cows. Been there done that. If anything survived that Boss Cows protection of her domain, good luck to them.
I kept on sniffing. Suddenly I realized I had sniffed my way clear down the alfalfa pasture and into the draw between the alfalfa pasture and Cactus Hill the next draw over was COYOTE Hill!
Shudder! Shake. Tremble. I didn’t realize I was getting so close to that danger zone!
Quickly gathering my courage I reasoned I needed to dash for cover by heading toward the old ensilage pit. If I could make it there I would be close to Dad’s other equipment storage area and there I hoped I would be safe.
But to dash that far meant I had to run lickety-split through the tall grass that grows between the two hills, then I had to pad my way up the other side of a very bare rocky hill. Or I could keep heading down and hug the fence until I got to one of the fire roads. (The fire roads are the roads Dad makes, just in case we have a fire and we need to get down there to put the fire out. OR the fire trucks need to get down to put the fire out.)
The trouble with hugging the fence is this was the Coyote Highway. Well, actually so was the tall grass valley between the two hills. Come to think of it so was the area BEHIND the ensilage pit.
Sigh! I plopped down and decided to rest my paws for a spell. Which way to go…down and through, or hug the fence and up, or trot clear over to the farm road and head on over to the ensilage pit.
THE FARM ROAD! Now that’s a thought. If I angle a little bit to the left, keep on moving east, I’ll come to the Apricot Tree road. This is the farm road to the equipment area and the middle corn field. It is also the road to Coyote Hill, Rocky Point, the Flat Lands and the back side of the Back Forty.
I sat there a spell pondering. I turned my nose toward the Farm Road and give the air a good sniffing. Then I turned my nose due south, which would take me through the tall grass in the draw and up the bare side of the Cactus Hill, after which I trotted down the side of the alfalfa pasture hill and gave a good sniff into the west wind.
Clear! No smell of a coyote anywhere. I’m off! I’m going to give the fence line and the fire road a chance, it’s the shortest distance to the equipment area from where I now sit.