Mac* has been a fixture in my life for so long: I like the idea of having the opportunity to share him with others, and--more importantly--to remember my childhood friend. =) -- Introduction I was fourteen when Dad got Mac. He was an awkward little thing: barrel-chested and perched on thin, muscular legs. The only trick he knew was "git," and only when you yelled it: stomping your feet and bellowing at a dog that won't keep his fool head out of the refrigerator. -- A Possum in the Kitchen I remember standing in the kitchen, all long legs and broad shoulders in my ripped flannel pajamas. It was late, and I had a spoon in the peanut butter jar, enjoying the pretend freedom that I could steal after everyone was in bed. I let Mac outside, knowing that he was a breath away from raising holy Hell about something that was going on in the weeds just beyond the window. His nails scrabbled on the porch and he nearly slid off the side. He hit the brush with a thump and a rustle, and I still had the spoon in my mouth when the shrieking started. It wasn't unusual for Mac to find an animal out in the yard, but enough yelling would usually convince him that it wasn't worth pursuing. He was a sissy at heart, and even then I didn't believe that he could hold his own against whatever he'd cornered. I hollered for him, loud enough that he could hear me for sure, and the screaming stopped. I hadn't known if the noise was Mac or his quarry, and so I stepped out, concerned for the welfare of the dog. My dad's Catahoula blurred past me, giving me a customary shoulder-slam as he skittered into the kitchen at breakneck speed. And dropped the possum. The animal let out a furious shriek unlike anything I had ever heard, and launched itself onto the cabinet, where it stayed, spitting and swearing at us in its violent, angry language. Mac went wild. He bellowed at the top of his hound-dog voice, threatening that possum with death and worse. The noise spurred me into action: it would surely wake Dad. I grabbed a much-disused broom and swung it in a wide arc, connecting with only the ceiling and the cabinet. The possum bunched itself up into a ball of grease and sinew, still spitting and screaming. Mac slammed into me, nearly knocking me down in his frenzy to get at the possum. "GIT," I yelled at him, but even this didn't deter the dog, who was spinning in wide, terrified arcs across the kitchen. My second swipe with the broom was lucky, and the possum dropped neatly into the trash can. I ripped the tablecloth from the counter and shoved it over top of the furious (but mostly unharmed) creature, before throwing the entire can into the yard and slamming the door behind me. I turned around to survey the mess that the possum (and the dog) had made. Dad was surveying it too, from the other end of the kitchen. He was bleary-eyed and angry-looking. I just about died. He took a long, deep breath and swept his gaze across the counter tops before he narrowed his eyes. "Put up the peanut butter when you're done," he said. Mac wandered over and licked my father's hand, placid now that the threat had been removed and the kitchen rightfully desecrated. -- To be continued at a later date... =) * name changed, because Dad loves his hunting dogs, but not so much this internet nonsense.