I wanted to ask Mom more about pants that could turn people into muffins, but then I saw a group of ladies sitting in a spot where Mom would have made me pose for a picture if they had been home cooking turkey.
As we started hiking, a group of giggling and clucking flags flapped across the trail ahead of us. “They’re not flags! They’re ladies!” I squealed, running ahead to introduce myself.
We tottered and stumbled through the maze of roads that all looked a lot like each other, and twisted up on themselves like they wanted to go nowhere. After awhile we found the trail, which looked a lot like the not-trail we’d been hiking on before.
Mom was just coming back from checking the woods for a better Wagon hiding spot when a pair of aggressive headlights pulled over from the other side of the road to get a better look at us.
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...
When Mom reached the landing and saw us all waiting for her, she practically screamed. “No hugging!” she choked when she saw me pushing against my new Friend. “Not on the cliff side of the trail!”
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.
Most of the dragon was underground with only his flanks and stegosaurus crest sticking out of the ground and curling big-spoon-ways around a canyon. The land the dragon slept in was the color of the 1970’s ––all rusty, creamy and drab greys with the rough textures of courderoy and polyester–– but the dragon’s back itself was covered in white chalky scales that flaked off and turned to dust under my paws.
“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.”