Knowing how to open a cheese stick wrapper or drive a car to a trail comes with the responsibility of having to choose the trail over the cheese stick sometimes, even though no one's forcing you. I'm glad that I'm a dog, because responsibility sounds hard. I would hate to have every cheese stick ruined by the doubt that maybe I should have run up a mountain instead.
I hung back, hoping Mom would change her mind, but she marched on without hesitating until we were standing at the bottom of the taco-shaped hole in the rock where someone had left half a dozen metal rings hanging like earrings from loops drilled into the rock. Then Mom unveiled her plan...
What keeps pulling us out of our Stuck House to wander through this part of the country is that it's easier to appreciate what we have when Mom doesn't have to worry about all the responsibilities of having stuff. Things like hot poop juice in Mom's dented cup or turning the heater to sauna mode after a cold hike make us feel more wealthy than all the fancy City espressos in the world.
After driving only a few squiggles, the white dirt stopped acting like it had been dropped there by accident and started to lie on the ground possessively like real winter.
“Oh look! A dog’s been here!” I said, marveling at how snugly my own paw fit into the print. I sniffed at them. “He smells very handsome.”
His words were long in strange places, like he was trying to sing but his tongue kept tripping over the words. It was the kind of accent that sounded like he would use the word ‘dad-gum’ a lot.
The distances got shorter and everything got smaller the longer I walked. It was like I was on a movie set that only looks real if you stand in the right spot, and when you walk around you discover that everything is a size that doesn't match.
She was hanging with only her toes on the ground and her brand new Ross Dress for Less jacket caught on the fence post. I looked at her dangling feet and her swimming arms. “I’m not with her,” I said.
We turned around, and suddenly I realized that we had been wandering aimlessly for miles through a maze of rocks that had blindfolded Mom's sense of direction and spun her around like it was her turn at the piñata.
"This dingleberry is going down!" Mom growled, speeding up like we were racing a light at a crosswalk. Then she veered up the little slope of wild dirt that protected us from the Momposter's boogeybreath. I followed close behind her as we cut onto the trail just a leash-length in front of the Momposter.