Before I begin this tale, let me warn any young, impressionable puppies to avert their eyes. We wouldn't want to be responsible for any nightmares they might have. I also claim no fault for any wet pants that may occur in any of their people.
Tuesday evening, Mr. Taleteller and I had to attend a dinner that was related to Mr. Taleteller's work. That threw off our usual evening walk, much to the anger and frustration of Bunny and Blueberry. When we arrived home, we decided to take the girls for a nighttime walk since it was rather mild out and soon we'll need to take nighttime walks anyway when the weather gets warmer later this week.
So, we went inside, let Lilac out to go to use the powder room, changed our clothes and shoes, harnessed Bunny up, grabbed the leashes and headed out. The girls had their Pet Blinkers on and we were set for a nice, safe walk through the neighborhood. It really was a lovely evening for a walk.
One of the things I like about our little town is that it has lots of trees and most of our walks are nicely shaded. It's like living in Mayberry where kids ride their bikes without fear and people are neighborly. At night, however, the lights do cast a lot of shadows and you really have to watch where you're going. In autumn, it's easy to let your imagination run wild with you as all the leaves blow about. Tuesday night was a reminder for us about how spooky walking at night can be.
Generally when we're walking, if Mr. Taleteller or I see a rabbit, squirrel or cat, we will say the name of the animal as a warning to the other so that we know to make sure we have a secure grip on the leash. Greyhounds are sighthounds, after all, and sometimes their instincts get the better of them. Most of the time they don't care, but we don't like to be careless, and in the springtime, young greyhounds' thoughts can lead to flights of fancy. As we were walking past a pair of houses that's particularly difficult to see between, Mr. Taleteller said "rabbit" and I automatically turned to see where it was and to see whether Bunny had noticed it or not. Then our conversation got interesting.
Mr. Taleteller: Maybe it's a cat...
Me: I see it!
I began to walk a little faster with Bunny to keep her from seeing it so that she wouldn't get distracted.
Mr. Taleteller: Or maybe it's an attack cat!
Me: What? I think that's a rabbit...
Mr. Taleteller: That's the biggest rabbit I've ever seen!
At this point, several things happened all at the same time. Bunny noticed the rabbit coming towards us. Mr. Taleteller and Blueberry passed by us as Bunny went on full alert, walking backwards to keep her eye on the approaching beast. It had to be the biggest rabbit I've ever seen and it was now on the sidewalk and moving towards us very deliberately through the shadows. Fight or flight instinct kicked in, only mine was for flight and Bunny's was for fight. I mean, there had to be something seriously wrong with this giant rabbit. Bunny was walking backwards as I tried hopelessly to convince her to move down the sidewalk with me. Just when I thought we were goners, Bunny leaped up in the air like some sort of crazy attack kangaroo and began to spin around. The beast crept out of the shadows into the light towards us and...
Me: You goober! It's a chihuahua!
Mr. Taleteller and Bluberry were a good half a block ahead of us by now and my sudden laughter finally made them halt and turn back to look at us. By then, Bunny was trying her best to get the rather portly chihuahua to play with her and I was still laughing. He followed us for several blocks, but was a little skittish himself. I saw that he was wearing a collar and tags, so my guess is that his curiosity simply got the better of him. We laughed about it the rest of the way home. I did promise to mention in this story that at no time did Mr. Taleteller ever let out a girly scream.
I guess it's good to know that Bunny would protect me if my life was ever in jeopardy. President Carter, I have a newfound respect for the terror you went through in that canoe so many years ago. Too bad you didn't have a greyhound to protect you. They're much better than the Secret Service!