© 2011 Aaron Atkinson

Barks, Screams and Bullets

I was halfway through the best cob of butter-kissed sweetcorn I’ve eaten all season when it happened. Laura and her cousins were eating Sunday family dinner in the living room, when one of the pet Laboradors saw something on the bike trail in back of the house. She let out a bark so thunderous that it rattled the frames hanging on the walls. It was so loud and so abrupt that Laura’s cousin, Molly, was startled into letting out a shrill scream in response.

Both startled me.

Molly, her husband and their two German shorthair pointers rent a cozy house in urban Kansas City near their offices. They don’t live in a terrible neighborhood, but I probably wouldn’t walk the streets alone at night.

When I teased Molly later in the evening about her shriek, she had the perfect response…

Molly: Aaron, where I live, if my dogs bark you’d best be hitting the floor. When their are bullets flying you don’t have time to think, you just react. What you heard earlier was my mouth telling my body to hug the hardwood.

Aaron: Gotcha, gotcha. Have you actually heard gunshots where you live?

Molly: Heck no. And I doubt I ever will. I’ll be too busy screaming!

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