Gwen Petersen: In a Sow’s Ear 10-10-11
And then there’s the story of Myrt and husband, Bert, and Woof, the frisky Weimeranar.
A year ago the threesome were taking a walk on the mellow side up through the forest path behind their ranch. Woof the Weimeranar, in a joyous fit of gamboling about slammed into Myrt. The result: a broken leg (not Woof’s). Bert, though not wearing a Superman rescue suit, went into action and toted Myrt to the emergency hospital room. Result: Myrt wore a cast and gimped for several months.
Myrt could write a book on the joy of hiking. On a particular afternoon a week ago, she and Woof went walking in the woods. Bert remained at the home place working around the corrals.
Woof, in her doggie fashion, bounded hither and thither chasing wonderful smells, deer and imaginary varmints. They were a mile or so up a cloudy draw when Woof came flying toward Myrt faster than a speeding bullet. Although Myrt zigged, Woof zagged. Result: a collision with Myrt’s undamaged leg. She went down like a bag of dropped laundry, accumulating abrasions on her face and a bloody elbow.
Attempting to stand, she found her knee going off in an odd direction and promptly re-assumed the seated posture. Now what? She couldn’t stand. She could remain where she fell, bake in the sunshine and maybe Bert would eventually miss her. Or she could scoot down the hill and through the hayfield back to the ranch where hopefully, she could draw Bert’s attention.
She began scooting. As she turtled along, Myrt began calling “Help, help!” Woof, a canine of sympathetic disposition, sat down beside her and commenced to howl in sync if not in perfect harmony.
On she went. Scoot, scoot, scoot – past a pile of bear poop. Scoot, scoot, scoot. Ouch – stickers! Scoot, scoot, scoot on and on and on. Finally she arrived within sight of the house. She re-commenced hollering and Woof helped.
Bert, working around the corrals, saw the horses, their ears percked, staring toward a particular direction. Then he thought he heard a coyote howling.
He had a gut-wrenching premonition and began a middle-aged version of a racing pro – lurch, puff, stagger, wobble and gasp.
Finally, he heard Myrt’s voice, but it was difficult to tell from whence it came. Myrt kept yelling, but the sound echoed in the cool morning air. And then, too, Bert’s lungs were working so hard, they made a roaring sound in his ears, thereby making pinpointing Myrt’s location even more difficult.
Woof continued to howl. Myrt continued to yowl and began waving her hat and finally, oh finally, Bert saw her.
Wheezing like a foundered horse, he managed to rasp, “Do you need help?”
Myrt considered this – at the very least – an interesting question. “YES!” she shouted. “Bring the truck.”
The rest is history. Myrt now has to cope with the healing process. One hopes that busting appendages does not become a habit with Myrt. She’s used up her legs. Her friends are starting to worry about her arms, ribs and head bone.
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This the first in a six-part series of articles covering basic water law in the United States, predominately in the western part of the country, and how it affects this finite resource.