Posted 10-24-2004 at 06:32:00
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I think I might have already mentioned that I'm scared of the dark. Don't try to help me, there is no help for it, I know, I've tried.
There is a roof panel that Hurricane Charley took off, that used to be over the back porch but is now in the back yard. Its lying right outside the window where my computer is. The roof is made up of two by fours and 5V crimp. It's a complete roof, it has just been removed from the top of the house. One day we will dismantle it, store the materials and reuse them for something else. It's on the to-do list. But for now, that's where it is.
Every now and then, one of the dogs will walk across it and you can hear it from inside the house. You know what that sounds like...crackle! bang! as the metal bends and then pops back out. Every now and then one of the young pigs that keeps getting out, will walk over it. Same sound only a little louder, with the hooves and all. I've gotten to where I barely notice it anymore.
Well, lemme tell you, last night just before I went to bed, something walked across that thing and had it snapping and banging and crackling so loud that there was no way I could have ignored it!
Red Dog was lying on the floor next to me, and his head flew up, he jumped to his feet and stared at the window growling. Elvis and Girl were outside on the front porch (the other side of the house) and they went to barking like crazy. Raisin and Noodle were out in the pasture and they started barking like mad as well.
Without a second thought, I opened the safe and got out my .410. In the back of my mind I was thinking that maybe one of the bigger pigs got out, but do you think I went out there to check?
Did I not say I was scared of the dark?
We are the last house at the end of a mile-long dirt road. The property has twelve acres of grove and then woods at the back. The next property behind us picks up with more woods and then pasture, but no house. There's a reason I always reach for the safe if I get nervous, there's not another house behind us for a good long ways. Nothing lives back there but four-legged creatures.
I couldn't even look out the window, as all the windows in this room are still boarded up. So I just kind of stood there listening for any new sounds.
By now Red Dog was barking too, and I encouraged him to keep it up. My second thought would have been that there was someone out there prowling around on the property, so I was pleased to have them know that there was a big dog in the house.
One at a time, the dogs changed from barking to howling. Noodle started it, and then the rest of them chimed in. I'm sorry if you've never heard four dogs go to howling at the same time, because I can't describe what it sounds like. All I know is that it raised all the little hairs on the back of my neck.
Red Dog sat back on his haunches and lifted his head. He was half way through a howl when I nudged him with my knee.
"Stop that crap!"
The only thing worse than hearing that eerie howling, is hearing it right up close and personal. I had goosebumps crawling all over me. When a dog starts howling, they go somewhere else in their mind. Their eyes take on a far-away look and any resemblance to a domesticated, sweet- natured pet, vanishes. They don't hear you, they don't see you, and if you get right in front of them, they look right through you. Red Dog was just getting into that distant mode when I yanked him back.
Just as soon as it started, the howling stopped. It got very quiet outside until I heard a bang over by one of the little sheds, and then nothing.
I don't understand this. If it had been a deer, or a cow the dogs would have kept on barking and run around there and chased it off. If it had been a big dog, same story. Or a person.
What would cause them to freeze in place and howl like that? Would it be something that they related to, but on a basic gut level only, simply because it was canine? Like a wild dog or a wolf? Or would it be something that they didn't relate to at all, but were afraid of, like a panther. Or could it be something that they couldn't identify in any way shape or form that frightened them badly enough to call for reinforcements.
Who knows why a dog howls?
We'll never know what it was, because here it is broad daylight, and I still haven't been out there to look around. I suspect that when I do go look, I'll find that metal roof all dented to hell...and I don't know if I want to see that.