One Crane, Two Dogs, Three Ring Circus


Let me preface this tale by setting the scene. It rained last night, it rained a lot last night, leaving the ditches full, the grassy areas like marsh lands, trees dripping…you get the picture. Neither of our dogs likes rain much so the walks last night were abbrieviated and insufficent for the beasts’ needs. They did what they needed to do in the fastest possible way before hightailing it back to the door.

This morning dawned a little hazy but the rain had stopped, so after my shower I put the leashes on Max and Emma for first walk, off we went. Really other than the afore mentioned sogginess, every thing was quite pleasant. Emma stopped not far from the house to do her business. I put both leashes in one hand while I cleaned up after her.

There I was hand in blue bag scooping Emma’s deposit off the ground, when I got my first warning that something was amiss, a slight tightening of one of the leashes and a low throaty growl from Max. OK! In hindsight I should have been more alert but Max tends to growl and tug when cars pass or people walking with or without their dogs pass. I continued tying the bag, before checking to see what had his interest.

A white crane stood in the middle of our flooded ditch not 10 feet from Max, who now had stretched his leash to full extention while Emma decided to retreat extending her leash to full extention behind me. As carefully as I could I transfered Emma’s leash to my right hand while trying to pull Max back with my left. At that moment the crane chose out of curiosity or aggression (I am totally ignorant about water fowl) to advance toward what I am sure she thougt was a little twerp of a dog. I think I may have been yelling by this time, so if anyone heard a crazy sounding woman hollaring like a fishwife this morning, it was probably me.

Neither the crane nor the dog took any notice. Anyone who has seen Max knows he is 18 pounds of mostly fluff, but when that boy is after something his adrenaline must kick in because he was dragging me across the wet yard. Did I mention I was wearing sandals? “Slip, Sliding away” as I dragged an equally resistent 19 pound Emma through the marsh with me.

Suddenly just before the crane and the dog met in what I feared might be mortal battle, the bird turned ran a few feet and then rose in flight. I breathed a sigh of relief which was a mistake.

Now I have seen cranes flying they are not chickens or turkeys who have relatively useless wings. They can achieve magnificent heigts BUT not this bird. NO! This bird adopted a low flying pattern AND I swear looked back over her shoulder and said something like, “Na, Na, NaNa, You can’t catch me” to Max, who with all his might pulled and the leash snapped out of my fingers.

So there we were the chase was on with the crane in the lead across the equally marshy backyards of 6 or 7 of our neighbors. Crane, Max, Me dragging Emma. A few times I almost could grab his leash, but couldn’t. Finally a small tree caught it slowing him momentarily so I could catch up and grab hold.

By that time I was out of breath, Emma was out of breath and Max was still looking back at the crane who had stopped to explore the waters of the ditch farther down. My feet were soaked and I did indeed feel like the ringmaster of a three ring circus.

This poster came to mind:


Well, I don’t have any monkeys, but who needs them with Max and Emma, Terry, my brother Tom and me. We create our own Three Ring Circus, which I am sure anyone who glimpsed a nearly 70 year old woman running through wet grass in sandals after a dog chasing a crane would agree.

I should probably sing, “Send in the Clowns”, but I won’t.

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