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Going for Gold

By Jefferson Weaver

Jefferson-WeaverThe cats stretched in the porch swings, looked around, and grabbed their microphones.

“And welcome back, sports fans, to the Meadowsweet Olympics. I’m Henri, and this is three-time ambush jump champion Geranium.”

“We’re in for an exciting afternoon, Henri. I have word from Team Canine that Walter the Wonder Dog will be showing his stuff today, and it should be a real zinger.”

“I heard the same thing, Ger. It’s been eight months since the Wonder Dog did his thing. You think he still has it?”

“No question—at the old venue, he was the fastest, smartest runner for what, eight years in a row? They never made a fence he couldn’t climb.”

“The electric has made a difference here, though, Ger. Several of his followers have gotten fat and unmotivated.”

“I think motivation is the key here, Henri. You know how he loves meeting new friends – “

“True. And bringing them home.”

“—and Walt hasn’t met all the critters here at the new place.”

“Those Scotty terriers—should they be worried?”

“I doubt it. He’s always been a runner, not a fighter. Wait—here comes the Mom-human now. This could be it –“

“And THERE HE GOES!”

“Watch how Mom drops everything—she’s in rare form today.”

“She doesn’t have much chance against Walter, though. There he goes up the driveway! Not even slowing for the geese! What form! Watch them scatter!”

“Those geese have been a barrier for Smidget,” Henri noted.

“I admit, they’re a bit scary,’ Geranium replied. “Speaking of scary, listen to the other dogs.”

“Not to mention the look on Mom’s face. I think she was dressed for church, wasn’t she, Ger?”

“Yep—that’s going to factor in on her speed. She’s doing really well, though.”

“And there Walter goes up the side of the horse pasture!”

“You know, he was one of the first to make friends with the equines.”

“But he didn’t have to worry about donkeys back then. They seem a bit unreasonable when it comes to canines. Oh, nice fake—he just dodged around the golf cart! But Mom’s still on him!”

“Did you see the last time Mabel went mano y mano, or I should say burro y coyote, with one of the visitors? Reminded me of Dulcinea the mule. Mabel has two confirmed kills now, you know. Not like Dulcie, but that type of medalist only comes along once in a generation.”

“And Walter heads for the goat pen, with Mom gaining on him. Has Walter ever met a goat, Henri?”

“Not to my knowledge, but when he was in cross-country mode, he may have,” Geranium said. “That dog ran many a mile through the Cape Fear bottomlands. It was nothing like this place, though.”

“You’re right there,” Henri noted. “And Mom cuts him off at the goat pen – good move, Mom! But Walter’s still too fast for her, and even has time for a drink of water before – wait! He was distracted by a rabbit! Mom’s got him now, if she can make it to the corner of the barn!”

“Walter’s no amateur, Henri. He knows that move. Mom needs some new ones if she’s going to keep up with him, even if the rabbits do distract him. They both have to dodge chickens and rabbits. And there he goes after another one.”

“The rabbits here are nothing like the wild ones back at the old place, Ger. They’re nowhere near the challenge.” Geranium gave Henri a sideways look. The cat shrugged. “Or so I’m told.”

“Anyway, Walter’s passing the chicken pen again.”

“The free-range chickens are really playing a role in this contest.”

“Walter hasn’t made a move on one of them yet, thankfully. That never ends well. He’s never been a chicken killer, but he is a dog.”

“The rabbits seem to draw more of his interest, that’s for sure. Henri, where’s Mom?”

A golf cart suddenly buzzed out of the barn. The cats rose in their seats. The other cats and the geese roared in surprise.

“It’s a whole new ballgame!” Henri shouted.

“Way to go, Mom!” Geranium shouted into the microphone. “I’ve never seen anything like this!”

“Smoky the cat isn’t thrilled. He prefers napping in the cart, you know.”

“I’m going to be interested to see how this contest turns out. Usually, Mom has to wait til Walter is tired before she can run him down. That appears to be changing.”

“They’re coming back down the driveway. Walter is slowing down.”

“That’s not surprising. He loves a ride as much as he does a good run, Henri.”

“Yes, Ger, but he has a lot of pent-up energy today. The heat doesn’t seem to be getting to him at all.”

“Mom’s makeup is shot, though. They’re coming across the yard now, toward the house.”

“Walter has to have a plan, Ger. I’d be willing to bet he’ll make a hard right in front of the barn, and run around the pond. If he ever hits those woods – Mom’s on foot again, and it’s Walter for the victory.”

“She’s thinking ahead, my friend. Watch how she cuts him off – like a cowboy herding cattle. Such form, especially with a new tactic.”

“I think she may have been practicing for a while, Ger. She’s getting him closer and closer to the house, and I don’t think he realizes it yet.”

“Folks, this is really a nail-biter! Walter’s making a circuit of the horse trailer now. Mom cuts him off.”

“She can’t drive through between the hunting truck and the trailer, but he only has two routes of escape, so it’s kind of even there. It’s all a matter now of skill.”

“And Walter breaks out, dashes past the nose of the golf cart!”

“Mom’s right on him though. She’s wearing her game face. I think she’s going to be the winner today.”

  “It ain’t over til it’s over, Ger, but I am leaning toward your side of the fence.”

“Speaking of fence, the garden seems to by complicating Walter’s plans. He’s heading for the big oak tree now –

“—and Mom’s on him like a duck on a junebug.”

“If she can push him toward the porch, this game is over.”

“Walter’s a smart one, though. He’s played this game for years.”

“So has Mom, remember. She used to chase his mother when he was a pup.”

“And they’re going around the tree—

“And back around the tree! The crowd’s going wild”

“And BACK around it again! It’s like Walter is stuck on a loop!”

“I think he’s playing with Mom, though. He has a few tricks left – as long as he doesn’t head for the porch –

“And that’s just what he’s doing! He doesn’t stand a chance!”

“This is Walter we’re talking about. If anybody could get out of this one, it’s him!”

“Mom’s gaining on him –

“There’s the reach –

“Walter notices! He’s doubling back! Mom’s going for the grab—will it be scruff or tail?”

“Mom’s going for the tail!”

“Aaaaaaaand SHE GOT HIM!”

The door slammed, and the cats returned to face the camera.

“Sports fans, that was one of the best competitions we’ve had in years. On totally new ground, with new tactics, but Mom won out in the end. Any final thoughts, Ger?”

“Henri, all I can say is Mom really rocks. Even wearing her good clothes, she kept pace with him for a long way. Not a lot of humans can do that. I was impressed. The golf cart was a stroke of genius, and the deciding factor in the end. Take us on home, Geranium.”

“That’s all the time we have for now, sports fans, but we’ll be back later, when the title for heavyweight rabbit boxing of the world goes on the line. And tune in tomorrow night for more action, as it’s the mini-donks competing for gold against the standards in coyote-kicking.”

“From all of us at Meadowsweet Farms, good night.”

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