< June 26, 1998 >

Swamp Dog!

Well, we kept Fezzik in, for most of the evening. John took him for a walk while I mixed up chicken with green chilies and a bit of white wine and cilantro and cooked it all up to stuff into fresh pita, that baked like champs and puffed up like pillows. We had a lovely dinner with Fezzik just watching us, and then we watched some TV, including the Mexico vs. Holland game where the Mexicans managed to tie it in the last minute of the game. That was impressive.

Fezzik, though, through habit, wanted out on his own for a bit, so started barking at us and it seems that he knew it really wasn't Monday, so just kept barking until John figured there was something Fezzik *had* to do, so he took him outside.

The next bits are likely better told by John but... well... Basically Fezzik ran outside, ran towards the edge of the ravine just by the garage, which is so steep, it's dizzying to look out over, and *just* stopped at the edge. He barked and then ran up the driveway. John yelled at him to stay close, as he didn't want Fezzik to run away or anything or go over to Montage and get in trouble. Fezzik, for whatever reason, ran all the way to the end of the driveway and then doubled up and ran back towards John, most of the way. He took a hard turn at the apple tree and with much crashing and crackling, he nearly fell down the slightly milder slope on that side to the swamp.

There's a swamp on the garage side of things, and that's where the frogs proliferate during the summer. It is partially why we have frogs singing all the time. From the swamp there's a mild slope to the creek, which John heard Fezzik crashing down towards. Then there were lots of series of splashes and the cracks of branches being broken and then the jingle that happens when Fezzik shakes off. Then more splashes.

All this time, John's calling Fezzik to come back up.

Fezzik's panting was also a sure way to track him, and as John called him, he figured out that Fezzik was wandering back and forth trying to find a way back up. The slope up the ravine at the back of house (the creek meanders about nearly 100 degrees of the house) was too steep for Fez to make his way up, so eventually Fez got up the small slope back to the swamp, wallowed about in the mud for a while and then just stopped and barked. Not the warning off bark, but the Come Get Me This Is Too Much For Me bark.

So intrepid John picked up a big iron bar, put on knee-high boots and went down to get Fezzik. There were brambles, nettles, and thick mud and lots of things. The bar got him through a lot of thick stuff, and when he got down to Fezzik he blazed the path back up for him. There was this one point when John had to climb over this tree trunk and on the otherside he lifted it and called for Fezzik to come through. But Fez didn't move at all, so John shone his flashlight at Fezzik and found out that he was bound by at least four different blackberry brambles, all tangled in his fur. So John had to climb back over, use the bar to pry brambles off Fez, and then go back over again. Fezzik still wouldn't follow him as he was completely beat and lay down. So John had to climb over again, and literally drag Fezzik out.

By the time the two of them got back to the house, John was covered with scratches, Fezzik smelled like swamp, and both of them were panting and exhausted. That was nearly two hours after John said that he'd take Fezzik out.

I'd managed to do laundry, get through all of the USA vs Yugoslavia game, and pushed off sleep until they got back in. John collapsed on the couch and drank a beer while Fezzik collapsed on the kitchen floor and lay there panting really heavily for a while. I petted them both, checked to see if they were okay and then folded laundry while they relaxed.

One thing that I discovered was that for all that the Hansen's d*stress potion worked, that a nearly equally calming effect may be had, long term, from two hours of solid exercise. Being as tired as I was from the morning's workout meant that I didn't worry at all. Even when we heard a phone message from Charlie saying that his plane from Denver to Seattle was dreadfully delayed so he'd be very late. So we didn't wait up for him, rather just went to sleep soon after that.

Around 4 a.m. Fezzik started barking, and headlights lit the night briefly. So I got up, threw a robe on and greeted him as he came in, exhausted. After he was settled back in, I went back upstairs to sleep, dreamlessly.

Today's pretty clearly a Friday after a release. So things are very quiet and folks are starting to scatter back to their other projects. Cloudy and rainy and stuff. Not a lot happening, and no real plans for tonight other than figure out something for dinner and do that thing.

© 1998 by Liralen Li.

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