December 3rd...”TELL A WINTERTIME STORY ABOUT YOUR DOG ON THE FARM.”
Tranquility reigned supreme over the coal black skies of our southern Minnesota farm yard during a midwinter’s evening. All was well…….for the moment, that is. Not a whisper of wind was to be heard or felt in the frigid air that surrounded our farm and a stealthily silent snow fell from the ebony sky in a dreamlike descent that lent to the absolute quietness that was almost palpable.
During the daylight hours, my faithful canine friend “Spotty” (who was a mixed short-haired terrier) and I had enjoyed our usual romping, stomping and “play fighting”. Wintertime’s cold temperatures saw to it that I was clothed with layers of everything from LongJohn underwear to coats and I’d have either thick mittens or leather gloves on. In our happy warfare, I would clench my fists and allow “Spotty” to attack and gnaw on my fists as we’d wrestle; he’d then “break off” to run frantic circles around me barking all the way. He’d hop from side to side, planning his strategy of attack, then, of course, he’d lunge at me and we’d go at it again and again. It was lots of fun and we both enjoyed each other’s company immensely!
One evening, I seem to recall that Dad had gone back down to the barn to finish evening chores and milking while I finished my supper. Now, getting myself re-layered for the night time walk to the barn, I stepped out of the warmth of the house and into the almost eerie silence of the night as I had described earlier. To set the scene of what was to happen next; about three fourths of the way across our farm yard towards the barn, we had a tall yard light that was our only outdoor illumination and it was toward that source of light I began to walk. On most occasions, “Spotty” would be waiting for me just outside the back door of our house as I exited our domicile. That dog buddy would usually be a waggin’ his tail and happy to see me, but tonight, he was strangely absent and nowhere to be seen. Rather strange, I thought, that he was nowhere in sight. With just the soft, repetitive kathud of my rubber boots against the packed snow, I started out and had almost traversed my way to the yard-light lamp pole when suddenly to the right side and behind me, I heard the staccato and rapid “pocketa pocketa” paw hits to the snowy ground of a fast approaching animal of some sort.
I spun around and SHAZAM!!! ……it’s “Spotty” who has launched himself in midair for another play attack on his master!! The little stinker had been hiding in the black shadows of the farm yard to sneak up on me for “the kill”! Well, even as a youngster, I can tell ya that my heart about jumped right outta my chest, but after the initial shock, he and I had another good time wrestling again before I finished the rest of the trek to the barn and helped Dad with the last of the evening’s chores. Such were just one of the many dog adventures for this Norwegian Farmer’s Son.