A Brief Adventure with a Curious Dog

A cloudy morning. The pickers had gone. I took the dog for a walk. We were heading toward the back of the property, when suddenly Sadie began sniffing at the base of a row of fir and spruce. A friend of mine and I had cleared under these trees in the spring, and the ground there seemed empty now except for some tendrils of bittersweet attempting to snake up into the branches. Half an hour earlier, when I had been picking blueberries on the other side of these trees, I had had this corner of the field to myself. As then, all seemed quiet and calm.

Sadie pushed further under the boughs. I heard “chook, chook, chook”—then all was raucous commotion as a flock of turkeys lifted into the air, just beyond Sadie’s startled face. Brown wings beating and beaks a-jabber, they exploded in a panic, criss-crossing in flight, and scattered into the high boughs of pines and firs and birch along the back of the field.

I laughed out loud at the sudden transformation of the air. It was as though Sadie’s curiosity had conjured the birds from the ground. Now the birds hung in the trees, waiting silently like rabbits that had done their duty and been produced out of a hat.

What would the day produce next from this ordinary, silent, spring-loaded stage?