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Hakuna patata

To escape the hostile white dirt attacks, in Canyon Country, we needed to get across the Grand Canyon and through Flagstaff before we could come down out of the high desert. By the time we got to Flagstaff it was almost dinnertime, and the laptop, Mom and I all needed nourishment. Since we were almost to safety and nothing was falling from the sky, Mom and I shared a Happy Meal while the laptop sucked juice from the wall. By the time the laptop was full, I had finished my McRotguts, and Mom the fries, it was getting dark and for the third night in a row the air was filled with static. When we hit the winding mountain road out of the mountains, the road was growing its white skin and the Wagon slowed to running speed while Mom climbed to her gargoyle perch on top of the driving wheel to keep us safe until the static finally turned to rain and the road turned black again. When we got to the trailhead, we parked next to the NO CAMPING sign and rehearsed our excuses in case someone woke us up to tell us to move along. Then we let the drum corps on the roof lull us to sleep.


Now that it was light, I could see we were sitting under an enormous castle of rock and I couldn’t wait to explore it. We started climbing up the wet stone, but the leash that Mom insisted on wearing made it hard for both of us to balance, and the wet rock was slippery. Sometimes when I tried to jump up on a slippery rock, the leash pulled me back and I had to skitter and scramble with my claws against the rock until Mom scooted in closer to give me a little more stretch to the leash. Before long the trail disappeared into a long, steep crack that went straight up the base of the castle. Maybe on a dry day with lots of time Mom and I could have used our wits to get to the top, but in the wet I was worried that I would get stuck in the middle and have camp there until it was safe to come back down in the spring. “Gorsh, the app said that this trail was supposed to be easy,” Mom said. “The definition of easy sure does vary from one city to another.” Then she pulled out The Witch and asked for advice. “Hey! This isn’t even the trail we were supposed to be on!” Mom said with excitement. That meant we didn’t have to feel like wimps for turning around!



reminded Mom that no matter what we found, we’d figure out how to get back safely.


city slicker.

Suddenly I sniffed one of my favorite things. “Bacon!!!” I thought as I burst into a chasing sprint until the leash jerked me back to Mom-pace. “Whoa!” Mom screamed when the leash nearly yanked her off her feet. Then she looked up and froze. “Whoa!” she shouted again, when she saw what was running across the trail in front of us. “It’s Pumba!” I squealed as the leash pinned me down mid-sprint. 
”Hang on! I want to hear about hakuna matata!” “Holy dog doo! That thing’s the size of a Volkswagen!” Mom said. “I didn’t even know there were … whatever that thing is … in Sedona. What is that thing? A wild boar? A warthog?” “There’s no way that bacon boulder can out-sprint me!” I wagged. “Lemme at him! I’ll have him teach you about his problem free philosophy when I catch him.” “No way, José!” Mom said. “I’m not sure if I’m confusing pigs with rhinoceroses, but I’m pretty sure those things know how to fight.” So we stood there like a quivering statue as Pumba ran away down the hill before I could even tell him what a fan I was of his work.

It’s a shame that Mom didn’t get to hear about hakuna matata. I’d been trying to teach her about “no worries” since nothing bad happened on Christmas Eve, but she still didn’t get it yet. Today she had tons of extra worries about what all this rain would be doing higher up in the mountains for tomorrow’s hike.

Oscar the Hakuna Patata



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