Romi taking a break from her golf course job.

EXTREME HERDING

Hullo.

Me name is Romi.

Eh am a beautiful tri-color Border Collie.

Me ma was a pure-bred show dog.

Me da was a pure-bred show dog.

Me mom and me da were cousins.

Eh was in a free litter of pups.

Eh can herd an’thing.

Eh can herd joggers on the track round the golf course.

Six of them.

There were three, Romi, you’re cross-eyed.

Quiet Geese on the golf course.

Quiet? They never stop honking. You’re deaf, sweetie.

Taday, Rika and I are walkin’ round the golf course.

Early spring. One big watertrap it is.

The trail around eroded.

It’s cool and damp. Trees are leafing out.

Such a pretty place.

But not much cheers Rika these days.

Not since November 8, 2016.

There’s a family heading our way.

Da in his jeans and white shirt.

His silly red baseball cap sheidlin’ his eyes so’s he can text.

Ma pushin the stroller, readin’ over his shoulder.

And the child in the stroller, a tablet in his wee hands,

Staring at it.

Missing the beauty all around him.

I think to meself: WWJD?

What would Jesse do?

Jesse’s me best bud.

A galumpy Great Dane. 10 months old, near about 45 kilos.

Big paws and ears to grow into.

The sight of the forlorn family’s making Rika sad.

I can sense these things.

From behind us, the ground is shaking.

- Jesse –

Eh turn to see him loping our way.

Rika and Eh make room for him to pass.

He’s headin’ right at the family.

Da looks up with a start.

And he runs in front of the stroller, frantically waving his arms in front of him.

Toddler drops the tablet, ma runs it over in her hurry to turn away from Jesse

And the carnage he’l l bring down.

Jesse jumps at the man, fully extended,

snatches the cap from his head by the bill and

Charges up the path.

Ma picks up the broken tablet.

The wee boy claps his little hands and giggles.

They head back for the parking lot in a hurry.

When we catch up with Jesse, he’s made a meal of the hat.

Bill all slobbered up. Middle torn out from the hat.

Eh read the message.

MAKE RICA

GR IN

Her writing muse lurks in the volcanic hills amidst mustangs, marmots and jackalopes. While hiking with her dogs, Ann stumbles upon stories of dark humor.

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