Faith & A Good Guard Dog


Life within the human mind can be so utterly complicated to navigate.  Between the ups and the downs and the gauntlet of beliefs ranging from heaven to hell and all points in between, there are times when the trouble-filled lands seem impossible to navigate. Then there are those moments that happen in nature when one is left to wonder, "Is there something more?"

Do you ever get the feeling that some days are going to be different?  I had one of those days just prior to this one.  It was one of those strange kind of days when things around the cabin get quiet...too quiet, one of those days when I decided I needed to go into the woods and write for a while, only instead of peace and tranquility I found patches of blood on one of the trails I walk.

The wind had turned cold on this particular morning and almost all of the cattle had been moved to a distant pasture, except for three cows who appeared to me to be standing in defensive positions, surrounding two very young calves.  Unbeknownst to me at that moment, a coyote, perhaps it is the one I call Tricky, moved carefully down the brush-covered creek that runs next to where the hay bale was put out some days earlier.  The calves looked extremely nervous, I noticed this long before I noticed the coyote. 

Across the old pond located at the end of the small brush covered creek, three deer watch, on alert.  Their tails are pointed toward the sky and I can’t decide whether it is me or something else they are worried about.  I smile and watch them with a type of distraction that Tricky is looking for.  In less time than it takes to turn my head, Tricky springs from the creek and darts toward one of the calves, despite their mothers being around them.  

I have no time to react, only time to witness the incredible pace Frosty the dog is capable of, hurt leg and all, as he closes the distance between himself, the cattle and the coyote.  At first Tricky is so interested in having veal for breakfast, I don’t think he is even aware of Frosty’s presence.  I know at the speed Frosty is now moving that Tricky will surely die from the impact of Frosty attacking at full force.  But in those last few seconds Tricky does notice Frosty, and he digs his paws into the soil and turns left back into the creek.

The briars and lower tree limbs shake with the force of Frosty's diving headlong into them, caring nothing about what danger lay within.  I speed toward the creek fearing a pack of coyotes may be hiding there.

Coyotes are like that sometimes. They come by the name “Trickster” honestly enough, often sending out one “stray” to bait prey to within range of the pack.  But, thankfully, that is only sometimes and not this time.

This time, there appears to have only been the one coyote and Frosty ran him off, saving the calf, just as he once did me.  In the seconds it took for all this to occur, and as I watched the deer finally dart off, I found myself wondering if there truly is something more at work in life.

Maybe it is true that all things in life have a way of working themselves out despite the tragedies we suffer.  Sometimes surviving life takes faith, but sometimes all you need is a really good guard dog.