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Providing for my pack

Tomorrow is my third birthday, so it’s time for me to start providing for my pack. On our walk to the mailbox yesterday, I sniffed an opportunity to feed my family, and Bodie and I changed direction so fast that we dragged Mom backward into a yard. Once Mom had righted herself she turned to see me with a giant dead rat in my mouth. This was a Grade A, primo rat. It was the size of a water bottle in full rigor mortis with its tail sticking straight out. Delicious AND nutritious!

“Hr u gr. Uf fmnd ths fr u,” I said, which is how you say ‘here you go. I found this for you,’ with your mouth full. “No!” screamed Mom in horror. So I dropped it. “But you have such an active lifestyle and I want to make sure you have enough to eat…” I said. But then I remembered that people are vegetarians and don’t eat delicious rats. Before we left the rat behind, Mom noticed its paw was moving. No, the whole thing was moving. She stared at it, spellbound. She looked hungry. I wondered if maybe it wasn’t dead yet, and maybe it was still breathing. Then she realized that some other ground critter was trying to pull it into the hole. “I can get it back for you,” I offered, lunging again. That broke the spell, and Mom continued her deliberate march to the mailbox. We took a different route back home, away from the rat.

Then, this morning on our run I decided to take critter sniffing duty from Bodie. She’s not very good at it anyway, and runs in zigzags once she’s on to something. I’m like a laser, so when I detected something I told Bodie, “C’mon! Follow me!” Mom shouted behind us, but I think she must have been weak with hunger because it took her a long time to grind us to a halt. “Perfect timing! All troops to the starboard side!” I shouted with my telepathy. Mom had stopped exactly next to where the critter had dove into the brush, and Bodie and I dragged her into the bushes after it.

We had enough time to see a dark smudge and silver hologram eyes wriggle under a fence before Mom gained control and pulled us back to the trail. Mom must be on a diet…

-Oscar the Provider


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