I treed Marco today. I knew he was around because earlier Tessa had come running into the house and up the stairs to hide under the bed. Seamus went to find out what spooked her and when he came back his look said Marco.
Later I was out with mom while she stacked the winter wood. I was staying close to her because the neighbors were enjoying target practice with their hunting rifles. Probably new ones just arrived in Santa’s sleigh. Seamus was nervous; said those guns had probably been tested on wild wolves up in the North Pole; said they shoot wolves from helicopters for sport. I said, no way, and how does a Shih Tzu know that anyway? But he just shrugged and started chewing his squeaky toy and refused to say more.
When the guns are blazing I figure it is safest to stick as close to mom as possible. She knows I am scared, but pretends the Pop, Pop, Pop of rifle blasts have not just destroyed the calm of a beautiful fifty degree, sunny December afternoon.
And then I smelled Marco. From clear across the yard I caught a whiff of his distinctive odor caught on a breeze; and when I saw where the smell was coming from I knew he was there because that is his favorite hunting spot.
Without thinking I shot across the yard at warp speed; but you see I have this bad habit of barking just before I get to my prey, and that’s what I did, I started yapping like a crazy terrier, and that’s all Marco needed to make me closing in on his hiding place. I managed to get close enough for him to leave a loose claw imbedded in my head and he had a taste of my fangs before they clamped down on his tail. Then he hit the tree in an impressive leap even for such a fat cat.
Unfortunately, he loves to hunt in the brambles and woods so I got all tied up in wild rose vines and stickers. Whatever he was hunting had taken to the air and was well out of reach before I got there.
Naturally, mom comes running and calls me away, probably before the landlady sees her beloved Marco clinging to the side of some skinny old, dead tree. I was reluctant to leave things that way, but he was up pretty high and mom was not taking no for an answer; better to get home. I just wish she could have let me enjoy Marco hanging in the tree for a little longer. We could have called Seamus and Tess out to have a laugh, but with the scolding mom gave me there in the yard it was Marco who probably had the last laugh.
The sun is hitting the top of the ridge and the guns are quiet for now. Mom says it is the Christmas season and a time to say kind words and show compassion for all; but I bet between the gun blasts and me treeing Marco, she had a whole bunch of not-so-kind words any terrier would be proud to know. That’s my mom, a bit of a terrier herself, I think.