Snapshots by Gloria Freeland - June 12, 2003


The lines to an old song say that "imagination is funny; it can make a cloudy day sunny; make a bee think about honey, just as I think of you."

But it can also make you think dark thoughts.

A few weeks ago, just as we were about to turn out the light to go to sleep, the doorbell rang. Art and I looked at each other, our minds racing over the possibilities of who might be at the door at that time of night.

Art tells a story about a similar situation which happened to him years ago. He and fellow teachers Roy and Jim had just arrived at the teacher's break area after their second-period class when the phone rang. It was Jim's wife and she was worried. He had bought a large German Shepherd to help her feel more secure, but now the dog was afraid to go into their basement and so she was too.

The three men piled into Jim's car and headed over to his place.

When they arrived, just as Jim's wife had reported on the phone, the dog was standing at the top of the stairs, looking down into the basement, obviously fearful and punctuating his alarm with an occasional whimper.

Roy, Art and Jim all located weapons - Art's being a broom - and they slowly descended the stairs. None was eager to be the leader, particularly because a speedy exit was blocked by the other two.

But when they reached the basement floor, nothing out of the ordinary could be seen.

While their six eyes slowly scanned their surroundings, the cowed dog crept down the steps alongside them - his attention focused on a rolled-up carpet.

Some critter must have sought refuge in the center of the rolled carpet. But it was rolled pretty tightly, so what could it be ... a snake perhaps?

But before they had a chance to inspect the carpet more closely, the dog moved forward and gingerly pushed its nose into the open end. The three waited to see what would happen.

The dog yelped and jumped back!

The three musketeers approached, bent over with their heads almost touching, and carefully surveyed the opening to see just what the fearful creature might be.

And then they saw it. It was a golf ball!

What was left of a golf ball anyway. The dog had found one of Jim's golf balls and had chewed the cover off. After the cover was gone, each time he bit it, the tightly-wound rubber string inside would be cut by the dog's teeth, causing a piece to snap free and hit the canine on his sensitive nose.

Over the years I've heard Art tell that story several times. He describes it as the time three grown men set out to defend a maiden in distress ... from a golf ball!

Oh, and our late-night caller? It was the neighbors' cat. There is a brick ledge next to our front door and occasionally one of their cats selects that place to survey its domain. While doing so, it leans back and presses our doorbell button.

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