He got up and cut the TV off. Nothing to see. He went out back to check on the dog. Ol’ Scotty still wasn’t eating much. It had been a week now and he still just lay there. “You probly gone up ‘n die on me”, the man grumbled out loud.

He put some fresh water in the bowl and scratched Scotty’s ears roughly. No response. Looking down past the little garden out back he thought he saw a quick movement in the shadows at the far end. Squinting hard, he walked to the edge of the grass near the fence. The septic tank made the ground muddy at this end of the yard. He looked hard but could only see the spiked top of the wooden scarecrow at the end of the garden.

He walked back to the house. About time for wheel, he thought. He glanced quickly at Scotty, who had not yet moved from under the porch. “I guess that’ll teach you”, he said again. He let the screen door slam softly this time. The muddy tracks led back to the TV.

I growed up po and ignant in Alabama. Then I went off to college and became a socialistic atheistic business school grad with an MBA. Not wanting to add evil capitalistic bastard to my resume, I obtained an antidote degree -the MFA. What a difference a letter makes. Now I teach college and make art. That's more fun and I'm less prone to drift toward the dark side. So, at the advanced age of sixty.... I have chosen mind over matter, joined the League of Defensive Pessimists and have no better answers, only fewer questions.

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