Tess the Mess&
The Black Tarp Trap
I live for days like this! It’s one of those sultry, lazy southern days. The air is sizzling like a hot dog hangin over a campfire and the sun is blazing like guns in a wild west show. I have just finished a nice relaxing swim in our family pond and I feel great!
I love summertime. My short redish brown coat and lean frame are not made for the cold winter wind, but summertime, well that is my time to shine! Even though I can’t prove it I am positively sure that I carry the bloodline of a Greyhound in my veins. That is the only thing that would explain my slender hips, gorgeous long legs, and my unquenchable desire to run, run, run! The only thing I like better than running is hunting, hunting and more hunting! Don’t get me wrong I am not a bird dog. Birds don’t interest me one bit, but those fast moving little furry critters drive me crrrrazy.
I give myself a quick shake, from head to tail, ahhh that feels so good, and now to prance on over to my favorite hunting ground, The Black Pit. Just a quick trip through the trees and here I am. This pit is sooooo deep, much deeper than the pond and Dad has put the most wonderful hunting trap around it just for me. It is big and black and slick. He calls it a tarp. All I know is that it is the most fabulous hunting trap that I have ever seen. It is piled around the top of the pit so it is a bit tricky to hunt in. You have to be really careful or you will slide right down to the bottom, but I find the best stuff in there!
Now I must get into stealth mode. Head down, nose to the ground, ears, yes both of them up and alert. Quietly I work my way through the black trap listening and sniffing. It’s a good thing I am a persistent hunter because sometimes I hunt for hours before I find my prey.
What was that? Wait for it, wait for it. Yes, a rustle right beneath my paw. I sniff. Yes! Yes! It is a rat! I bounce for joy! Uh Oh! Stupid ADHD! I think my bounce scared it away. I must stay focused! It couldn’t have gone far. I sniff. Nothing. I listen. Nothing. Darn Rat! He knows I’m here so he is hiding. He could be anywhere in the black trap. I will have to go in to find him. It is dangerous to go into the black trap. It’s very dark and very heavy and very, very hot in there, but I have no other choice. I Have To Find That Rat!
First I must find a place to get in. Sniff, sniff, there a faint scent of rat. He must have gone in right under this flap. I get down and belly crawl. I have to use my fine sense of smell because it is way too dark in here to see anything. I continue on my quest, thinking to myself rat, rat, where are you at?
It is getting really, really hot in here. I am so hot pant, pant and now I can’t smell the rat anymore! I can’t smell anything! I feel the PANIC coming on! Did I mention that I am claustrophobic? Well I am! Now I can’t breath, I’m dying of heat and I can’t find my way out! I must find the flap where I came in! I crawl this way and that, but NO Flap! I can’t get out! I’m going to die! I lie exhausted panting even harder as a new panic attack begins to hit.
Wait! I see a light! I must make it to the light! Don’t panic, I tell myself. You must save the air in your now collapsing lungs to reach your destiny! You have to make it or you will die here in The Black Pit Trap!
I am close. A trickle of fresh air drifts over to my nose to entice me forward. I crawl slowly gasping for breath, my eyes glued to the light. Just a few more feet… I am so hot…pant, pant, I can do this…I must! With all my strength I stretch and finally fill my lungs as my head slips through to the light! I AM ALIVE! Pant! Pant! I sit here soaking in the wonderful life giving air. I fill my lungs and now I must rest.
Okay, I think it is time for another dip in the pond. Let’s see, if I put my paw through the same hole as my head, then I should be able to carefully climb out and not fall to the bottom of the pit. I reach for the hole. I push. I scratch. I CLAW! My paw will not fit through the hole with my head! Now what! I pull my head back through the hole and replace it with both paws. I scratch. I claw. I PUSH! The trap will not tear! I am stuck! I poke my head back through the hole and let out a long pitiful howl!
I hear a woof and look up. The leader of our pack, Big Mama Black Shadow, a pure bred Labrador is standing right above my head.
“Good Gracious girl! How on Earth did you get yourself into that mess?”
“I was chasing a rat,” is all I say as I shamefully hang my head.
“What have I told you about going into the trap, honey child? It’s called a trap for a reason. Now you have gone and got yourself trapped in the your own trap!”
Shadow studied my predicament. She walked all around the trap sniffing and digging.
“I’m sorry Tessy girl, I don’t see anyway out. You’re just gonna have to wait will Mom or Dad comes out to feed us. I’m sure they can get you out. It’s way too hot out here for this black dog so I’m gonna wait in the shade. I’ll let them know where you are when they get here. Just stay calm and everything will be all right.”
That is easy for you to say I think as I sit here baking. I duck back under the trap.
I must find a way out! I start to belly crawl away from the hole, but as the light gets dim I scramble back to it. If I lose the light I will die. Yes! I must stay by the light! I poke my head back through the hole. Air sweet air, I must stay here!
What is that! Yes, I hear it! It is the sound of mom’s big car! I try to jump for joy, but the trap won’t let me! Okay a howl should work! I howl as loud as I can! I whine as my parched throat stings with pain. Mom I need your help!
I see a black flash headed my way and right behind Shadow is my human mommy. She is calling my name.
“Whine, whine, woof, woof! I am here! Come help me!
Mom stops at the edge of the Big Black Pit.
“It’s okay, Tess. She says. “Just stay calm and I’ll get you out.”
I try to bounce again, but the trap won’t let me so I just whine,
Mom slowly works her way down the black slippery slope to me. Her comforting hands rub my ears and her soothing voice drives my panic away. I sigh from exhaustion.
Mom tries to make the hole bigger so that I can climb out but the trap is too tough for her to tear. She pats me on the head and tells me that she has to find a flap in the trap so I can crawl out. I solemnly hang my head and wait.
I feel the trap start to move and a small cool breeze slides over my sweltering body. I here Mom calling so, I duck back under the trap and follow the sound of her sweet voice. The fresh air beckons me forward. I see daylight and Mom’s shoe. I am saved! I crawl out of the trap and lick Mom’s face as I bounce for joy.
“It’s looks like you could use a good swim, girl,” she says. “Let’s go down to the pond.”
“Woof! Woof! I am sooo ready for that!”
Written By My Mom Cathy Collar
Because I, Tess do not have thumbs or fingers.