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Monday, May 08, 2006

Thar be ogres in them dar woods. Arggggg.

Today, I am distressed. Actually, as of Saturday, I have been distressed.

I can’t remember if I told you before, but the dogs and I have discovered a BEAUTIFUL new trail in our woods. It is GORGEOUS. All windy and curvy and filled with good stuff. Its is even well marked with red markers on the trees. It’s a real trail, folks. Bike people even use it.

Why Amy, that doesn’t sound very distressing at all. Why so blue?

Well, let me just tell you...

I pick up the red trail off my usual path. I have only been on it twice and we have yet to discover where it actually starts. But from where we get on, it takes a full hour to circle back around to where we started. By then, Jack is leading the front and Ozzy is lagging behind and breathing like Tony Soprano. So for sake of Oz, we hop back onto the usual path and head home.

But this new trail, as it turns out, crosses to the left – to what we shall call, uncharted territory. I never even knew there was anything to see over to the left. But there is, and it’s a wonderful, enchanted world of green forest with colorful butterflies, fields of umbrella plants, fragrant flowers, and singing birds.

There’s a point where the trail becomes the mid point of a slope. The trees sway in the breeze behind you, to the side of you, and below you, and here you truly feel to be in the “middle of it all”. Here you can stop and take it all in. Here, the trail overlooks the rest of the woods below and the river can be seen off in the distance. Here is where we stop and take a deep breath and smell nothing but honeysuckle. And it is so quiet. The only noise is the wind blowing through the trees and the birds singing. This is where you could sit and meditate. This is where you could lay yourself down and take a long nap. This is what they talk about when they say “magical.”

What a great trail.

But alas, now I can no longer cross to the other side.

For on the other side, in the middle of the magic, dwell ogres.

And contrary to popular belief, ogres do not live under bridges; they live in a pile of rubble under a bunch of blue tarps next to one of those tall antenna things.

My first experience on the trail revealed this huge eyesore buried down the hill from where we stood. I thought, “Oh how awful that someone would dump all that garbage in the middle of the forest”.

My second experience on the trail revealed the ogre who lived there, who stepped over the trash while carrying an antenna from a house and headed down the hill – away from us.

This made me very uneasy.

I mean yes, he is going the other way, but suddenly I felt like I could very well, for real, be in danger out here.

I didn’t know if he saw me. I didn’t know if he was a mean man. I didn’t know if he was alone. I didn’t know if he knew shortcuts to get to where I was.

I didn’t care to really get to know him that well.

At least I had my dogs with me. But there have been times that I did not. I do always have my cell phone on me, thank dog. And now, I will always have my mace on me, too – or - ogre spray, as I shall call it.

I see the beginnings of a “Lifetime Movie” here.

So we finished our walk and found ourselves back on the regular path, where we ran into one of the bikers that frequent the woods. He stopped to catch his breath and said to me, “You know, there are some tarps back in there that have homeless people living in them. I don’t think that’s the best place for you to go.”

Ah, thanks bike guy for looking out for me. “I saw the tarps. And today I saw a man over there. Is there more than one?”

“Yeah, I think there’s a couple. But you have a pit bull with you. You’d probably be fine, but why risk it?”

“Well, actually he’s an American Bulldog, but he does look vicious. And I don’t think we’ll be walking over there anymore anyway. Thanks for the heads up.”

I say this to him, yet at the same time I’m wondering if Ozzy could fester up the energy to attack anybody. Also, I wonder why poor Jack never gets any recognition. Is he invisible? Am I the only who can see this other dog with me? This 80 lb scroungy mongrel I have tied to my wrist? Every one always comments on what a nice looking dog Ozzy is, but never says a peep about Jack.

Actually, I take that back. One time we passed a man with his little son. He grabbed his kid, pulled him in close and said, “That dog just ain’t right”.

Poor Jack.

But in a case like this, Ozzy might be good looking, but Jack looks insane. What’s scarier?

By the time we got back down to the road, Ozzy was too tired to even crawl under the guardrail. We had to continue down until the guardrail ended so he could go around.

Me thinks the bulldog lacks athleticism.

I checked to see if we could get down to the river so they could cool their piddles off, but there were too many pricker bushes in the way, so we hopped in the car and started home.

And who do you think we passed on the road?

The ogre was walking back to his den... and I got to see what he looked like.

He was very big – like, 6’3” big... with a big scruffy head and a big fluffy gray beard. I thought for a second that maybe this might actually be the infamous Bigfoot... But he didn’t have a furry body.

He was however, still carrying the house antenna.

And I just can't stop wondering just where he was taking it to... that he ended up bringing it back home from... Perhaps it just wasn't the right antenna for... his friend's house... or radio... or cell phone... or something. Or maybe it's his friend and he was just taking it on a walk...

Perhaps one day we shall stop in and have tea, and he will reveal the answer. Until then, you're guess is as good as mine.