The BEN5000 vs. The masked Creature

Last night my dog Ben barked at around 10:45.  He barked for about two minutes and then he stopped.  He barked again around 11:45, then at 12:30 and on and on.

I got out of bed and grabbed a flashlight and headed out to see what the fuss was all about.  At the ten and eleven o'clock hours I had no success at finding what the trouble was.  But at the 12:30 slot, I found out.

While I am a writer and could launch into something very wordy, I think this story is better told by Ben himself, who had to write an apology to our neighbor across the street, who we knew, both Ben and I, must have had her sleep interrupted far too many times.

So what follows is from Ben Shea: 

Dear [Neighbor and Cat],

I am sorry for all the barking last night.  As you know, I am normally a pretty quiet dog and try to be asleep by eight o'clock at the latest.  But last night I had major, major Neighborhood Watching to do.

You see, I heard the strangest noises next door.  At first I feared the worst:  a burgular. (sic)  But I really couldn't see anything.  I could smell fur, however, so I figured it was a varmint of some variety.  (And I had my hopes high that it wasn't a skunk. Like last time.)

As you know, I try hard to be the early warning system for the entire circle of houses.  I try to warn Jake, my fellow canine, so he can get the barking going on his end of the block.  So you may have noticed I used some different intonations.  Those were signals to Jake, but I think he must have been all safe and warm inside,  because normally he takes my warning and runs with it, as I'm sure you've heard. Probably too many times...

Anyway, to make a long story short, finally around 12:45 when mom came out with her flashlight in hand, we both saw something.  Very scary.  Very furry.

We could hear it clawing its way up the pittosporum tree next door, which  normally I like because it smells so good, but then last night was not as fond of as it apparently was the hiding place for the intruder.  The clawed intruder. The terrifying , clawed intruder.

Its furry self clawed noisily up the tree and then stopped.  Mom used her flashlight, (which I wish she would have had better batteries for, because the light was pretty pitiful.)  And then we both saw it at the same time.

It was wearing a black mask and had sharp teeth.  It did have a cute little button nose, but I tried not to be distracted by its cuteness when clearly it had its sights set on doing something wrong:  else, why the mask, I asked myself.  Was it after my water?  My toys?  Me??

"RACCOON!  RACCOON! " I tried to incorporate my normal friendly woo woo bark into the word raccoon.  It was really scary looking.  Or scared looking. One or the other.  So mom went inside, apparently because she didn't want to go next door and climb the tree and remove the felon.  I think she went to sleep.  But she and the neighborhood could sleep because I was on Neighborhood Watch.  I, Ben, or as I like to think of myself:  The BEN 5000 Early Warning System was guarding the house.  And all the other houses.

So that's why  all the barking.  I'm sorry if I kept you awake, but at least the two of you were awake AND safe all at the same time.  No masked vermin get out of trees as long as I'm on the job.  I had him where I wanted him all night long.  Or at least until maybe I dozed and then he was gone when I woke up.  But happily, nobody got hurt.

Love always, and again sorry for the noise,

Ben Shea






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Comment by Karen Pearlman on April 8, 2011 at 10:43pm
i love this!!!
Comment by Get Centered Clay Studio (Elly) on April 8, 2011 at 12:10pm
Very cute!

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