Land in the Sky: Well, Well

This is not how the story is supposed to go.

The big collie takes off through the woods toward the Stinky Pond. He has a mud spa in mind. The rest of us keep walking along the trail. “He’ll come back soon.” Time passes. No sign of the big collie. The little collie is starting to look worried. Abruptly then, far off in the distance, the sound of panicky barking. It’s the big collie! What’s he gotten into?

The little collie takes off in the direction of the barking. I take off after the little collie. The big collie’s panicky barking continues. He’s never done this before. Must be big trouble! The little collie and I run through the woods as fast as we can. We run and we run and we run. The big collie keeps barking, barking, barking. I lose sight of the little collie. I’m getting winded. We’ve come a long way through the woods and I’m a long way from my marathon days. The barking ceases. Where’s the little collie?

I spot her standing next to the crumbling wall of the haunted well. I approach her and turn the corner. I look down and there’s the big collie! He’s fallen into the well. He’s okay but he can’t get out on his own. The look on his face is that of the favorite having just lost the big match to the underdog. He needs help. So I roll up my pant legs and lower myself into the murky depths. At first it’s up to my knees but then when I begin to lift him out I sink another foot into the primordial ooze at the bottom of the well. Rescue complete. The big collie is so happy to be out of the watery entrapment that he shakes off the mud into my face.

I claw my way up and out of the well. The big collie is already off running with joy through the woods. The little collie gives me a puppy head tilt that says: “Can we change his name to Timmy?”