I begin to see a pattern here. First there were the warm sheets of rain falling on my head as I danced happily in the mudhole that was the Rainforest Aid Concert. Then back in my neighborhood rain forest, a friend and I are hiking with the dogs when a tormenta of vast proportions and consequences strikes. Rumbling thunder escalates into a full-fledged war we can’t see somewhere beyond the giant trees. Night comes too early. Mist thickens to fog. Tina says her knee hurts and turns back. I’ve finally gotten out into the primary jungle and want to continue. It is so eerie, ethereal, exhilarating.
Now flashes of lightning break through. Warm forceful rain falls in splats then buckets. This is no slow progression. I call the dogs to turn back. Cookie leaps, runs and jumps in excitement. Koda cringes and gets all mixed up in my feet. Could there be two such totally different labs? A bomb burst of lightning hits behind my right shoulder lifting me off the ground. My feet, like pistons, are already pumping when I hit the ground running. Though I feel and smell the electricity I’m more afraid of a massive tree crashing down on me. The strikes continue, the rain pounds, Cookie thrills, Koda cowers, and we all run like hell until we hit the open road. I lift my arms and face to the sky and laugh wildly at experiencing nature unleashed.
The next day we realize our water source has been obstructed, probably from a fallen tree or landslide. My daughter Nicole and grandson Sebastian go down to the spring to see if they can rectify the problem. Another pattern arises. Cookie slides to the forefront again. So soon after committing chicken murder there’s an attempt made on her life. Is it the law of the jungle, Darwin’s natural selection, both? Tune in next time for more Cookie Crumbs.
Our new chocolate lab, Cookie, killed a chicken. I kept hearing a bird in distress and finally went to investigate. Cookie had it in her mouth. She’s a retriever not a killer. She was just holding on to it, not eating it. I grabbed her by the collar and swatted her to drop it, but too late. Maybe we’ll have it for dinner. It wasn’t full grown. More like a Cornish hen. Cookie is following in our last retriever bird-lover instincts, but without the fan fair and excitement.
Buck’s story has become a legend in our family. I was ready to leave Costa Rica and return to Florida. Nicole would drive me to the airport. The car was packed and everyone in except my irrepressible grandson. Sebas was racing after Buck who was racing after the one and only rooster in our brood. What great fun! “Go get ’em, Buck.” Sebas egged him on. He didn’t need egging. He leapt to the attack, grabbing the “gallo” in his soft mouth. Not to kill but to play with, enjoying the game immensely.
Until the screaming began, “SEBAS! STOP! GET OVER HERE.” Nicole running now, overtaking Sebas, gaining on Buck and grabbing his collar. “BUCK! STOP! LET GO!” No way. Buck clamps harder. Nicole grabs the legs. It’s a tug of war. Nobody wins this one. Nicole gets the dead rooster, the realization infuriating her to turn and run after Sebas. “YOU KILLED EDGAR’S ROOSTER! YOU’RE IN BIG TROUBLE. GET IN THE CAR!” The rooster’s broken neck spinning as she runs after him.
Sebas still running and sobbing, “I didn’t do it. I didn’t mean to. I’m sorry.”
“GET IN THE CAR! NOW!” All quiet except for the sobbing as we drive away. “You’re going to pay for this. What’s wrong with you?” I make my plane and rise above the turmoil past my house on the edge of the Costa Rican shore and back to Florida. I call Nicole and reflect on an event worthy of World’s Funniest Home Videos. In retrospect she has to laugh too.