We drove north for our last Summer Hoorah and it seems we met fall halfway, because we slid down waterfalls on Thursday, and were sleeping under big blankets by Monday.
We paddled up Mud Creek in kayaks and rested along the shallows of a willow bank. We listened to the relaxing sounds of water and wind through the reeds, until we heard the distant barking of a dog.
Mud Creek is a skinny creek, and a barking dog in the backwoods of Northern Wisconsin could mean that dog was going to come and get us.
“It’s coming closer,” I warned Bill.
We waited and listened, and determined that, yes, it most certainly was coming closer.
I quickly conjured up an escape plan, “If it comes, I’m ditching this boat and running up there,” and I pointed to the opposite side of the creek.
Then out of the woods bounded a red dog that began growling at us from the bank. It had found us.
My heart was beating hard, and I said to Bill, “ Oh God, it’s going to come in here and get us.”
He tried to reassure me that it wouldn’t do that as it made its way down to the edge of a large rock, where it barked and growled some more… and then Bill asked me, “Do they do that?”
“Of course they do that!”, I answered and I poised myself to leap from my kayak.
To make things even more alarming, I was frightened to see the dog only had one eye. What happened to its other eye?
There was no escaping the dog in our kayaks. He was blocking the only way back down the skinny creek; to paddle past him would mean his jaws would be exactly level to our faces and throats. The only way around the dog was to get out of our kayaks and carry them up the opposite bank, which was steep, and with a dog after us, there would be no way to out-run it.
Anyway, that escape plan quickly became obsolete, because suddenly there was another barking dog guarding the other side of the creek, a black one. This dog only had one eye as well, but it was missing the eye opposite of the red dog’s missing eye, and so, we were surrounded by one-eyed dogs, and there was no way out.
Then a couple of rambley old ladies came through. We were relieved, thinking these dogs were certainly theirs and they would call them back to their sides…but they didn’t.
They stood over the bank and got a look at us in our predicament. They laughed like witches and asked us, “Do you have anything?”
Bill’s head twitched, like it does when he’s angry and confused, and both of us couldn’t comprehend what she was really asking us, because she had a strange accent, backwoods accent.
Bill shouted back, “What do you mean ‘have anything’?”
She repeated herself, “Do you have anything?”
I watched Bill try to decipher what the Mud Creek hillbilly was asking for, until he finally responded with, “No, I don’t have anything…no meat…no sausage… nothing!”
That seemed to do the trick. The hillbillys called in their dogs and laughed their witchy laughs, and disappeared back into the forest.
We got out of there immediately; paddled back down stream, giggling about the meat and sausage. What made Bill say that?
The water had become strong and choppy and was pushing us into the reeds and mud. We had to trick the chilly wind that seemed to have come to life and was trying to send us back in the direction of the one-eyed dogs and I was reminded of how quickly water can turn on you.
We were relieved to finally reach the shores of Bill’s grandma’s house, and we left our summer by the banks of that river, with the witches and the hillbillys and the one-eyed dogs.
Bye summer, until next time…
Are you serious Anna? How do these things happen to you? Your life is better than fiction! 😉
In retrospect, those ladies were just messing with us, but there’s always that strange taste that comes into the back of my throat when I’m in between wondering if it’s for real or not…if we’re safe, or not, do you know what I mean? I was thinking for a split second, “oh shit, these ladies are going to get us and chop us up and make stew for their dogs,”…but then, they didn’t, thankfully.
Hey, great post 🙂 Your kayak trip sounded like it was beautifully peaceful and idyllic until those dogs came along! I can’t believe they only had one eye each, how creepy. I would’ve been petrified!
Hey thanks, it was an adventure alright!
i will have to remember the plea of “no sausage”–I have a feeling this could work equally well in the pork-lusty plains of my homeland, Iowa 😉
I have a one-eyed dog. We adopted her when she was a pup. She had been being used as a bait dog in a pit fighting ring here in Rockford that was broken up. She is missing one eye and half of her tail. She is covered from head to toe in scars and when we got her we put 12 pounds on her in one week and another 8 the next. ( this is verified by the weekly vet visits that were required the first month of her life until we got her back on the road to health.) All of that though hardly gives you a picture of the sweet pitbull puppy who is so happy to see us that she can’t stop wiggling even if we have only been gone long enough to get the mail or take out the garbage. Since adopting her I have had two babies, both of whom have pulled up on, fallen on, and even tried to ride on this dog, with only a lick or a nuzzle as a response. My Abigail is the best dog I have ever had the pleasure to meet. I feel so fortunate that when my husband wanted to get me a Valentines gift that year he thought of taking me to the shelter. On Valentine’s 2012 it will have been SEVEN years since she came into my heart. And I feel blessed every minute that she is with me.
Just thought I would share my one-eyed dog with you. ❤
That’s so wonderful Melissa. I can’t wait to be in a place in my life to go to the shelter, and I will have a big country home with plenty of space to bring home the whole lot I hope. I’m so happy you gave your dear Abigail another shot at happiness.