Monday, September 5, 2011

Jack of the wild wood

“He strides across the land, his golden coat glistening in the sun, his tail a proudly waving flag. With each step the ground trembles beneath giant paws tipped with claws of steel. These woods are his; from the flat open lands of scrub and new-growth trees to the pungent swamps to the towering trees that travel up the side of mountains and run along their peaks.

“Jack knows every inch of this land, becoming almost invisible when he needs to, slipping through the woods like a ghost, catcher of rabbits and chaser of foxes. He leaps downed trees with a single bound and scales gray trunks to scan the treetops. Squirrels don’t dare to tread where Jack has been. They scurry silently away beneath underbrush, but nothing escapes Jack’s sharp ears, his powerful nose.

“Deer cannot outrun him. Bears refuse to lumber across his path. Song birds and ravens scramble to safety amongst a flurry of wings and eagles wheel away from him against endless blue skies. One snarl and flash of his gleaming white teeth and the forest falls silent, his presence fills the spaces and his bark shakes the leaves on the trees.

“Locusts swarm down the path in front of him and he scoops them up in his mouth with one fell swoop. Snap. Crunch. And he continues along the sun-bleached dirt trail, strutting over rock, swishing amongst the grasses and wading through swamp.

“Wearing a clever camouflage of cold gray mud, his fierce brown eyes peer out from a face streaked with white and black and miss nothing as he stalks the woods. He surveys his domain, challenging anyone, anything, to get in his way. Jack, the conqueror of the forest, holding sway over all the beasts, none dare enter his woods, he is a legend in these parts, a bold warrior, a…”

“Jack!” The booming voice stops him in his tracks. “Go Home!”


“Thwarted again by his arch nemesis The Neighbour, the hero turns slowly, head down, tail lowered, and tiptoes away. He moves like smoke on the wind, disappearing amongst the trees as though he never existed. The Neighbour will soon forget he saw him and once again Jack will stalk these woods, his woods, where none are safe from his piercing eyes, his kingly roar.”


  1. I had to backtrack through the posts I missed this summer to see if you had a new dog! I don't know "Jack." Love the "seized with missed opportunity" - I could totally picture that in my head. I wonder what a fox footprint smells like too. :) A minute ago, as I was typing this comment, my silent and peaceful house erupted into an absolute pandemonium of dog hysteria. Lady was going beserk and I thought she was going to go through the screen door. Fortunately, I got to the door and slid the glass door shut before she went through and took on the giant bear that was out there. Whew... My heart is still beating about 200 beats a minute...

  2. Dog hysteria, I know it well. Thank goodness Lady didn't get a chance to take on the bear! yikes!

    Jack is one of our neighbour dogs, and Murdoch's best friend in the entire world. He walks with us pretty much everyday and lives the absolute perfect life for a dog. He is well behaved enough to be free-range most of the time and gets to traipse through the woods whenever the notion takes him or lounge around on the deck in the sun. The above narrative is what I imagine goes through his head most of the time. He's kind of the overseer of happenings on our road.

  3. Okay, I just realized that with all the posts I read yesterday, I confused my comments! But, you probably knew what I was talking about. Just future readers might look at my comment and go "huh?" And yes, I know that there is at least one other human being in the world that knows what dog hysteria sounds like, and that is you! :) Lady did run after a bear one night a couple of years ago - she saw it before I did. I lost about 4 or 5 years off my life in a two or three minute span I think. Fortunately, the bear went up a tree, and Lady came back in response to my "human-hysteria."