Tuesday, November 16, 2010

the leaves

On Pine Street, a mouse runs into a pile of leaves. A raccoon, hunched over like it's begging to be shot and formed into a hat, notices. It runs across and follows the mouse in for food or friendship. My Yorkie, Pinocchio, walking with me unleashed, sees the raccoon and chases it. What else can you expect from me?—I follow Pinocchio and the raccoon and the mouse into the leaves.

When I'm in there, there's no rustle or movement. We're each waiting, not wanting the other to get away and not wanting to be noticed.

A car, wood paneled and huge, driven by my neighbor Rick makes a gummy turn around the corner, onto Pine, into the pile of leaves.

It's difficult for me to tell you this, but the weight kills me immediately. I don't even feel the roll of the back tire.

Rick keeps going, used to the thing's sloppy shocks.

Pinocchio's rotten sense of smell kicks; he nips the raccoon's tail, its squeal startles the mouse, who runs out, causing the raccoon to run out, and Pinocchio to run out.

There's a long chase, through yards and alleys and streets and a few parking lots and fields. A fox becomes involved at some point. Someone drops out and someone is eaten.

Eventually Pinocchio realizes how far he is from me. He takes a while to pieces things back together, linking his way back to me like PVC pipes, until the final elbow onto Pine.

He sits there by the leaf pile. Then lays down. When the guys from the city come in the morning to mulch the leaves, he goes at their ankles. They have Animal Control on speed dial.

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