On the way

On the way to the grocery store, I tripped on a dog. Its reached out from under a bush into a shadow on the sidewalk. Mid-step I saw the disembodied paw, a giant white thing that could have belonged to Big Foot.

“My god!” I said as I stumbled. The bush started to heave and shake as the foot-owning monster climbed out to destroy the cause of its disrupted slumber.

A screen door slammed in the house at the end of the monster’s hedge.

“Don’t be afraid of Moose. He’s a pansy,” the woman on the porch said. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see her approaching in cut- offs with a fringe of threads around her thighs and a thin tee-shirt shortened to expose her belly. My forward vision was focused on Moose, a St. Bernard panting in the heat, rivers of drool hanging from his jaws as he lumbered at a surprising speed straight for me.

“Don’t be scared. He likes to give girls hugs. Just bend your knees a little. Easy, Moose. Easy!”

Her voice was within a few feet of me, but all I could see was the dog rearing on its hind legs, front paws planting on my shoulders and its open toothy mouth fast approaching my face.

“Ah! Oh!” I said before closing my mouth against the spitty onslaught.

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