Something has the cows upset, some of them have actuality moved a foot or two, others are murmuring about something. I scan the area looking for a reason. A half a mile away, about where the dirt path begins, a puff of dust comes toward me. As the puff of dust gets closer the cows stand up and discuss moving to another location. The puff of dust becomes a large white dog at a dead run toward my tree. The cows start nudging each other. The dog is close enough for me to see it is Sally. The cows move a good twenty feet away, they all turn and watch her approach with great interest. Sally makes it to the trunk of the tree and scrapes her paws on the rough trunk while she barks letting me know my hiding place had no effect on her and that she now has me treed. Way back at the start of the trail I see, what must be, Ricky. Ricky’s walking at normal speed and should be here in fifteen minutes or so, I’m sure Sally has plans to keep me entertained by the sound of her voice for at least that long. I settle back into my place on the branch. The cows come back to their shade, not at all happy about Sally but willing to work something out. She stops barking long enough to rub noses with a couple of them and then returns to pointing out she knows I’m up the tree.
“Thought I’d find you here,” Ricky says as he looks for a foothold and a path up the tree. The cows are just glad Sally has stopped her barking. They return to their peaceful chewing. “My mom wants you to come by for some cookies,” he climbs in to the tree and starts using branches like a ladder. “All she talks about is how you saved Toby’s life. I told her all you did was keep him from accepting a job offer that would have made us all rich,” he reaches a branch next to mine and makes himself comfortable.
“Thanks,” Ricky knows how I feel about fame. “Cookies are always good. Did you bring any?
“Nah, they are still cooking, she was just getting stuff together to mix when I left,” Ricky starts scanning the countryside. Sally, at the base of the tree has curled up and gone to sleep, her task accomplished. The cows are pleased. “They found my dad’s car, it was in one of those storage rental places.”
“Figures,” I say, like I’m deep in thought but really I’m letting my brain take a rest. And then my mind goes back to something Ricky said, “What kind of cookies?” I ask.
“She had the bag of chocolate chips on the counter.”
“See any walnuts?”
“And dried cranberries.”
“We should probably be going.”