Joon and the Chickens
This is my dog, Joon. Perhaps you've heard of her?
She and her brother, Ben, are famous for various exploits recounted in my blog (*See "Is It Me?" blog post of 10/31/12 and "Benny and Joon Celebrate Thanksgiving," blog post of 11/23/12 at www.aparisstateofmind.com/blog.html).
In this blurry photograph, you will notice the - pardon the expression - "hang dog" countenance, complete with sad eyes and drooping hair. Joon assumes this demeanor to convey the notion that she is the tragic victim of rumor and misrepresentation and that her behavior is beyond reproach, no matter how badly maligned she may be.
Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I am here to testify that this sweet, benign face dissembles a mind so cunning as to rival a Svengali or Rasputin! Those seemingly innocent eyes are the windows to the soul of one of the most nefarious of criminal masterminds - a real-life Moriarity, a veritable Machiavelli of misdeeds!
I set before you as Exhibit A the story of Joon and the Chickens...
Once upon a time - last May, to be precise - Joon, her brother Ben, and I set out on a day's journey, which had as its goal the procuring of edible provisions. Our destination was a nearby farm store, located in somnolent, bucolic northwestern Connecticut, amid undulating hills and lazy pastures, decorated here and there by the occasional munching goat, chomping cow, or prancing sheep.
It was a perfect day - one of penetrating spring warmth and azure skies, dotted at intervals with popcorn-cluster clouds. The gentlest of breezes caressed the field grasses and stirred the tender, green leaves, newly sprouting along tree limbs that canopied the gently meandering country roads. Butterflies and bees surfed the warm air currents, rising and falling on effortless waves as they sipped the sweet nectar of wildflowers, newly awakened to bask in the sun's golden radiance.
Joon and Ben have been members of the family for some time, which is to say that on the day in question, we were not strangers to each other. They knew that I could be relied upon for regular meals and walks, belly rubs and the daily bone. I knew that Ben could always be counted on to look cute, and to pee inside on a rainy day. And I knew that Joon could - well, suffice it to say that I knew Joon to be a free and reckless spirit.
When we first got the dogs, my boyfriend painstakingly enclosed our back yard by means of deer-fencing. Every day, Joon would scale the fencing, tear a hole through the fencing, dig a tunnel under the fencing or do whatever was necessary to access the free world. And every day, my boyfriend would repair the fencing without complaint. The man is either two cards short of a full deck or he's a fucking saint. No wait... that was before he quit drinking. Never mind.
At some point during the course of each day, Joon would create an avenue of escape. In the telepathic way of animals, she would communicate to her brother that the hour of freedom had arrived. If Benny hesitated, she would remind him of the glories - and the cost of Freedom. Together, they would hie to parts unknown to live daring adventures. After the escape, my daughter, son, boyfriend and I would station ourselves at various positions around the property and in the street, calling desperately for the pair to return.
"Come, Ben, come!"
"Benny and JOOOONN!!!"
Although Ben would follow his sister and do her bidding, it caused an inevitable conflict in his delicate, Yorkshire psyche. He's a family-man at heart and suffers deep remorse at inflicting worry and pain on his beloved humans.
Joon, on the other hand doesn't give a shit.
Invariably, ten minutes after their escape, the dogs would return. You could set your watch, and I mean it - you could Set. Your. Watch. After ten minutes, Ben would often allow himself to be caught. Freedom may be glorious, but captivity comes with Treats.
After ten minutes, Joon would swoop onto the lawn at lightening speed. Careening in a daring arc, she would all but caress our shins as she ricocheted once again out into the free world. It would be 45 minutes before we saw her again. Then, hunger, thirst or fatigue would descend and she would allow herself to be captured.