The Prescott Dog: Hazel Howls
Hazel gazed through the windshield out over the red landscape and let out a sigh of relief. The door to her right was already open, and she swiftly trotted out and sat down on the red dirt to begin her routine of sniffing out the air whenever she found herself here.
The air being still, she was going to have to work to find her target. She even raised her head and tried to her left, but she knew it was never out in that direction. As she swung back to the right and raised to all fours, she saw a flash of white against the orange sky.
“Tucker?” she barked, truly startled.
Tucker, being a fair distance away on a hill answered back. What ensued was a lengthy back and forth of barking questions with neither getting an answer. Tucker grew immensely frustrated, and what happened next only added to the confusion.
Tucker, very suddenly and abruptly, appeared next to Hazel, covering a distance of 200 yards in ‘the twitch of an ear.’
“How did you do that?” Hazel’s eyes were as big as quarters.
Tucker stiffened slightly and lowered his head to let Hazel know he was about to say something very important. Hazel took one step back.
“Hazel, where we are?”
In a rapid-fire delivery, partly because she wanted to continue her quest and partly because Tucker looked very serious, she related, “Tuck, we’re on the red planet, the one that Dad says the first red dogs came from, and this is a dream that I have once in a while.
“Off in that direction I sometimes find a crater filled with treats, but the problem is there is also a crater that has a scent like treats but it is really filled with dill pickles, and they taste like dill pickles but they smell like treats—can you figure that, Tuck—and the two craters are always pretty far apart, and sometimes the rabbits come before I can find the treats that taste like treats, and I have to run back to the truck and push the red button on the dash before the rabbits get here, and how did you end up in my dream, Tuck? That’s what I was trying to ask you when you were up on the hill. Oh, and Tuck, the planet’s name is Mars.”
Tucker glanced over his shoulder at the truck parked in the red dirt behind them. It looked like a big delivery truck: white and weather beaten, it had what looked like paper airplane wings—large ones—taped to the sides.
Hazel broke Tucker’s train of thought, “Will you help me, Tuck? I mean, since you’re here already?”
“Sure, Haze. I guess this will be a good break from Elle’s needle teeth and tail pulling.”
Elle Rigg-Bear was their very energetic, very young, new sister at home, and both Tucker and Hazel were a bit frazzled adjusting to the new routine. They began padding in the direction that Hazel had pointed out when Tucker turned suddenly and stopped in front of Hazel who was forced to stop also.
“Hazel...tell me about the rabbits.”
Hazel shifted a bit. “Oh yeah. Well, they show up if you make a lot of noise.”
Tucker stepped closer. “So, why would rabbits be a problem?”
Hazel shifted around a bit more, “Because there’s so many of them.” A sudden and sharp thought flashed in Hazel’s mind, “Hey Tuck, we kind of made a lot of noise a minute ago, didn’t we?”
Tucker didn’t answer. He was busy scanning the surroundings, having the same thought as Hazel. He stared at the horizon across from a setting sun, watching as hundreds, no, thousands of pairs of tall pointy ears began appearing, with a cloud of red dust rising above them.
“Would those be your rabbits, Hazel?”
“That would be them alright...RUNFORTHETRUCK!”
Both ran at breakneck speed as a rumble began to grow. Hazel had to stifle a laugh, hearing Tucker repeat over and over, “Red button, red button.”
At the open door, Tucker actually leapt over Hazel as the approaching rumble grew to echoing thunder.
Tucker’s outstretched paw missed the button. Hazel, following behind, nailed it, and the harsh sound of air-brakes shook them both.
“You okay, Tuck?”
Tucker answered Hazel in the dark familiar room. “Of course I’m Ok.” He checked the bed corner and looked around. “Haze, Mom and Dad aren’t in bed.”
“Yeah, Elle’s not in her bed either,” Hazel answered from the chaise lounge across from Tucker. “They must’ve taken Elle out for a midnight wee.”
A puppy’s paddling could be heard coming down the hallway, and Hazel and Tucker quickly moved paws, tails, and ears away from the edge of where they were laying and began to settle in for slumber, but the paddling grew louder and louder. Unusually louder.
Hazel and Tucker raised up and looked at each other in the dark. Something was not right. The footfalls really shouldn’t be able to shake the bed.
Both heads turned to the doorway. In that moment, what made Hazel and Tucker jump to their feet was the sight of a puppy’s giant muzzle, complete with very sharp puppy teeth trying to fit through the doorway.
Tucker blurted out “RED BUTTON!” while Hazel made a dash towards the master bathroom. Tucker had the same trajectory, and they both collided and slid with their limbs akimbo across the floor.
The room was dark and familiar. Mom and Dad’s rhythmic sleep-breathing was like a calming song. Tucker looked across to Hazel on the chez lounge. “Hazel!?”
“Yes Tuck, I know...don’t ever let you in my dreams again, right?”
Tucker circled and curled next to Mom’s feet. “Correct Haze...ever!”
Hazel stifled another laugh thinking back to Tuck’s panicked, “RED BUTTON!” She stretched out her limbs while on her side, careful not to wake the puppy below.
“Haze...is there a planet for white dogs?”
“Not a planet, but you guys have a moon called Sarcasmo. I think it orbits Uranus.”
Tucker’s last thought before a very deep sleep was something like, “I wonder if there are rabbits on my moon?”
Hazel was heard to chuckle softly, before snoring.
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