Lost Dog Prairie
Tired and hungry, two hunters finished
a long day's hunt. After the dogs
were tied, the men started the chore of a campfire dinner. As twilight
turned to darkness the men already slept. A cold wind blew through the
cypress and they moved closer to the fire, knowing by midnight some one
would have to get more wood.
dog's collar was worn and the buckle had finally given out. All he had
to do was pull on his tie and it would break. Exhausted from the chase
he may have never known...
glow of the camp fire alerted the young buck to danger: fire or man, both
were deadly. It turned and ran, only to leave a scent that the cold wind
brought to the sleeping dog. The smell of a white tail deer! Instinct took
over and the weariness had left. The old hound found himself wanting the
chase. The hunters were asleep and the rest of the dogs seemed not to notice
the smell of a passing deer. Still the hound rose and to his surprise his
collar had set him free. Suddenly the chase was on.A
deep sleep had fell on the hunters and the bays of the hound were un-noticed,
or passed off as a hunter's dream...
chill of a winter's night exhilarated the hound. The cuts and bruises on
the pad's of his feet weren't anything to him. Through old palmetto roughs
and pine islands he had trailed the deer. The smell was getting stronger
and his prey was soon to tire. A vast prairie opened in front of the old
blue tick. A hint of dawn was in the night's sky as the stars were fading.
Fading also, was the trail of the buck. The cuts from many saw palmettos
stung his bleeding legs.
sound of a buggy groaned in the distance. As the scent faded so did the
hound's will. He was worn out. The prairie had been home to many of lost
dogs and now he was one too...
heard the buggy from far away, but he was too give out, too hungry to care.
An old man climbed down from his buggy. Faded eyes looked at a lying dog.
It's skinny frame and wounded body told the story. The man took a piece
of chicken and tossed it down on the buckskin colored prairie grass. Food.
Worn as he was, the dog ate. Straw hat and a tooth pick... now that's living.
An old man looked down, an old dog looked up. Were they both ghosts? A
man whose skin, aged from the sun, eyes faded and warm, a smile that even
a tired, hurting dog felt welcoming was looking down at a dog that seemed
to old, to tired to be real....
it really happen? I don't know, but the last time I was in the Everglades,
I thought I saw something, A vision, maybe.Sitting
by the fire, as the cold winter's wind blew through the cypress, an old
man looked at me. With a smile
so warm and faded eyes, he bent to pet a dog. The fire sparkled in his
eyes and then there was only the bright starry night.
story provided by Randy Whidden, August 3, 2001, Written in memory of his