Jeanne Owens, author

Blog about author Jeanne Owens and her writing


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The Yarn Fought Back- Stream of Consciousness Saturday #SoCS

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“And then I saw it,” said Mickey, his golden eyes wide as saucers and his tail swishing back and forth. “The biggest ball of yarn you’ve ever seen!”

Lily and Pepper leaned forward eagerly, their ears perked. “Wow!” exclaimed Lily. “What did you do, Grampa?”

“I didn’t know what to make of it at first,” Mickey continued. “I’d never seen a ball of yarn that big before. I crept up on it cautiously, not sure what to expect from it. But it just sat there, unmoving, as if tempting me to do attack it.”

Lily and Pepper nodded excitedly. “And then what Grampa?” asked Pepper anxiously.

“I crept closer and closer, inching my way to the ball of yarn, waiting for it to do something, but it didn’t. Finally, I gave into the temptation and pounced on it! We went rolling around the floor as I kicked it and clawed at it, an occasional growl or yowl escaping from my throat. But my enemy wasn’t as weak and cowardly as I’d thought. The ball of yarn fought back! As we battled across the floor, I found myself becoming entangled in its strands. Then, before I knew what had happened, I’d become encased in it, only my head being free!”

Lily and Pepper gasped. “Oh, no!” they cried. “How did you get free?”

Just then the kittens’ mother came into the room and walked up to them. Misty eyed Mickey and sighed. “Telling them one of your old yarns again, Dad?” She shook her head and faced the kittens. “Come along, you two. It’s time for bed.”

“Aww,” they said as they followed their mother out of the room.


(image from Pinterest)

This post is part of the Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, “yarn”:

https://lindaghill.com/2021/06/04/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-june-5-2021/


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Roc Of Ages – Stream of Consciousness Saturday #SoCS

 

 

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Aryn paused her horse and watched a dark spot on the horizon as it drifted around the peak of a mountain. She thought it was an eagle at first. As she watched, it moved off eastward, towards the farming village Aryn knew was nearby. As it did, Aryn’s sharp hearing picked up the distant sound of the bird’s hunting cry, and it wasn’t the sound of an eagle. 

It was her quarry.

Aryn urged her horse into a gallop and took off towards the village,  hoping to get there in time. As she rode, she wondered, not for the first time, just what she’d been thinking when she’d accepted the job offer.

She’d been approached by the city’s magistrate to help the outlying villages with a problem of their livestock being poached. The one doing the poaching, however, wasn’t a person but large bird of prey. And not just any bird of prey, but a giant, legendary bird that has used the area for its hunting grounds for centuries.

A roc.

The magistrate had begged Aryn to help, but she wasn’t sure just what she could do to help. She’d never taken on a creature like that before. She had started to turn down the magistrate, but then he had promised her a hefty reward if she could get rid of the bird.

Aryn instantly accepted the offer.

And now here she was, rushing off towards this village to face a giant bird that could steal a full-grown cow with no problem (and even elephants, according to legend), with no plan or the vaguest idea of what she possibly could do to get rid of it. 

As she neared the village, she spotted a heard of cow and bulls grazing in the distance. The next thing she knew, a large, dark form dropped down from the sky with a piercing shriek. Aryn watched in amazement as the giant bird scooped up a pair of cows in its huge talons and took off, heading back towards the mountain.

As Aryn watched the roc leave, she wondered just what she’d gotten herself into, and cursed her greed and reputation for getting her into this.

She urged the horse on into the village so she could talk with the residents and devise some sort of plan of action.

 

(image found on Pinterest)

 


This post is part of the Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, “roc”:

https://lindaghill.com/2021/05/21/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-may-22-2021/


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What a Difference A Day Makes – Stream of Consciousness Saturday #SoCS

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“What a day,” Jimmy grumbled as he plopped down on his couch and leaned back.

Nothing had seemed to go right all day. He was late getting to work, thanks to horrible traffic. Things just seemed to go wrong at work, too, and he wound up getting in trouble with the boss, even though it wasn’t his fault. Then he wound up arguing with his girlfriend after work and he’d just stormed off. To top it off, he got a speeding ticket on his way home. As he sat there on the couch, reliving all the bad things that’d happened, he didn’t think it could get any worse. Then a thunderstorm started up outside and his power went out, and he thought it was just the perfect way to end his day.

He was in such a bad mood, he didn’t even feel like eating dinner. Instead, Jimmy just decided to go to bed early. Even then, he was afraid he wouldn’t sleep good, that he’d be plagued by nightmares. As the thunderstorm continued outside, mirroring the turmoil he felt from his bad day, Jimmy managed to drift off to sleep.

He woke up the next morning, feeling refreshed. He was also surprised to realize he hadn’t had any nightmares. He was still a little hesitant to get up, though, afraid of having another bad day. But as he looked out the window, he saw it was a bright, shiny day. He smiled and found himself in a better mood already. He checked his phone, and found a message from his girlfriend apologizing for the fight they’d had an offering to make it up to him. He also found messages of apology from his work, and a message from an old friend he hadn’t seen in a long time who wanted to meet up.

Jimmy got up from bed and got ready for work, humming a happy little tune as he did so. He felt so much better than he had he day before. “What a difference a day makes,” he thought.


And in case anyone got an earworm from the title, here’s the song:

This post is part of the Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, “difference”:

https://lindaghill.com/2021/04/09/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-april-10-2021/


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On The Run – Stream of Consciousness Saturday #SoCS

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Mitch was in the middle of his daily run, jogging along a path bounded by a creek on one side and trees and shrubbery on the other. It was a peaceful natural area, and he loved to jog there in the mornings because he felt more energized after being out in nature. In the evenings, he usually would come there to walk with his dog, Riley, to relax after a long day at work.

Mitch was approaching a large clump of shrubbery when he heard a small noise coming from the bushes. He stopped running and listened, not sure of what he’d heard. Then he heard it again – a short, high-pitched meow. Intrigued, he slowly approached and looked into the nearest bush. Peering at him from inside the bush was a pair of yellow cat eyes. As he watched, a small pink mouth opened and meowed again. Then a small, black kitten timidly crawled out, sat in front of him, and meowed up at him with its tiny voice.

Mitch stared at the kitten in surprise. He had certainly not expected to come across something like this on his daily run. The kitten wound itself around his legs and continued to let out tiny meows as he tried to decide what to do. The kitten didn’t look very old. It had probably been weened not long ago. But it was kind of dirty and looked slightly underweight. He didn’t think it belonged to anyone. He considered taking it home, but he wasn’t sure how Riley would react to it or how the kitten would react to the dog.

The kitten began climbing his leg, then made its way all the way up to his shoulder, where it crouched and began purring. Mitch instinctively reached up and petted it, and that was it. He was going take the kitten home.

Cutting his run short, Mitch returned to his car and headed home. When he opened front door, Riley greeted him enthusiastically, jumping at him and trying to lick his face. Mitch had to hold the kitten out to the way as he tried to calm the yellow Labrador down. 

Mitch ordered the dog to sit, then took the kitten into the living room. He put the kitten on the floor then called for Riley. The dog ran into the living room and stopped instantly when he saw the kitten. Mitch watched anxiously to see how the two would react. 

Riley crept up on the kitten slowly, curious to investigate the newcomer. The kitten hunched down and gave a short hiss, but didn’t attack immediately. Mitch took it as a good sign. 

Riley sniffed the kitten, and the kitten leaned back as the dog invaded its personal space, but it still didn’t attack. 

Riley finished sniffing, took a step back, and sat down. He panted and his tail wagged. Then he dropped to all fours and let out a short yip, wanting to the play with the kitten. The kitten stared at it with narrowed eyes, as if it considered the dog and its request beneath him. But Riley continued yipping, and the kitten finally gave in. It lunged at Riley with its claws sheathed, and the dog jumped and ran off. Riley paused at the entrance to the living room and looked back. The kitten was standing where Riley had been. It stared at the dog a moment, then ran after Riley. 

The two continued like that for a few minutes, with the kitten keeping Riley on the run throughout the house, playing chase. Mitch settled down on the couch with a sigh of relief. He would still keep an eye on the two for a few days, but he thought that them not immediately fighting and playing instead was a good sign and that they would become good friends.

 


This post is part of the Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, “run”:

https://lindaghill.com/2021/03/26/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-march-27-2021/


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In The Misty Moonlight – Stream of Consciousness Saturday #SoCS

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In the misty moonlight, Aryn crouched on the rooftop and watched the building across the street. She wondered what she’d been thinking when she’d accepted the job. She’d been told it was a house that she’d have to break into. Except this huge building was no house. It was a mansion. The large building and its surrounding land took up at least half the block on that side of the street. And there were practically no trees, just some bushes and flower gardens. So she didn’t have anything to hide behind if she tried to sneak up. 

Aryn watched as a pair of armed guards patrolled the outside of the mansion. She frowned as she tried to think. How was she going to get inside? The moonlight might be misty but it was still a full moon, so there was still plenty of light for her to been by the guards. Why, oh why, the young girl wondered, couldn’t her client have waited a few more days, so the moon wouldn’t be quite as bright? She understood how important the item they wanted her to get for them was, but surely a few more days wouldn’t hurt, would it?

The sound of horses clopping along the street reached Aryn, and she looked to see a carriage approaching the mansion from her left. Perfect! she thought. She quickly and quietly slipped down from roof. Keeping low to the ground, she ran up and jumped onto the back of the carriage as it turned onto the road leading up the mansion.

The carriage came to a stop in front of the mansion and the armed guards approached to talk with the driver and the occupants. While they were occupied, Aryn slid from the back of the carriage and quietly darted around to the side of the mansion. She paused to make sure she hadn’t been spotted, then crept along to the back of the mansion. There she found the servants entrance door. She checked it and found it locked, as she’d expected given the lateness of the night.

She pulled her cloth-wrapped lock picking tools from the leather pouch on her waist and got to work. Within moments, she heard the click of the lock. She put the tools away, quietly opened the door, and slipped inside. 

After giving herself a few seconds to let her eyes adjust, Aryn closed the door and softly crept across the kitchen floor to the main area of the mansion, in search of the item she’d been hired to steal. 


Aryn is a character I used once before on Stream of Consciousness Saturday. You can read it here.

And in case I gave anyone an earworm, here’s the Dean Martin song by the same name:


This post is part of the Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, “-sty”:

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS Feb. 27, 2021

 


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Above & Below – Stream of Consciousness Saturday #SoCS

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Aleah stepped out onto the balcony. She leaned against the railing and gazed up at the stars and moon shining high above. A light breeze blew a strand of red hair into her face, and she absently brushed it away as memories of Nico played through her mind.

She missed him, longed to see him again, but she feared she never would. The memory of her father catching her and Nico sitting together in the garden came to the fore. He had chased Nico off, warning him never to come back because he’s not good enough for her. Then her father had yelled at her, forbidding her to see Nico ever again because it would tarnish their family’s name and reputation, and then he’d sent her to her room.

A tear trickled down her cheek. She wiped it away just as a shooting star crossed the night sky. She clutched the necklace Nico had given her and made a desperate wish on the shooting star.

Below the balcony, the bushes rustled. Aleah jumped slightly, startled out of her memories. Then she heard her name being softly called. She leaned over the railing to look, and Nico stepped out of the bushes with a rucksack slung over his shoulder. He held a hand up to her and said, “Come with me.”

Aleah was shocked. “What?”

“Come with me. It’s the only way for us to be together.”

“Are you sure?”

“Your father made it perfectly clear. We’ll leave and start over somewhere else. Somewhere our families aren’t known. Somewhere we can be free and live our own lives. Will you come?”

Aleah looked behind her as she considered his offer, seeing not only her room but all that she’d be leaving behind. The wealthy lifestyle she’d grown up with had been nice enough, but it hadn’t made her truly happy. Not like being with Nico had. She’d only ever been truly happy with Nico.

She turned back to Nico and grinned. “Yes!”

Aleah crossed over to the trellis beside the balcony and carefully climbed down. She took Nico’s hand, and the couple ran off into the night.


This post is part of the Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, “above/below”:

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS Feb. 13, 2021


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First Thing – Stream of Consciousness Saturday #SoCS

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“First thing in the morning,” grumbled Martha as she reluctantly climbed out of bed to answer the scratching at her bedroom door. “Always first thing in the morning.”

She opened the door and stared the orange tabby cat sitting there. It mewed at her and she sighed and said, “Yes, yes, I know, Garf.”

The cat walked off and she followed it to the kitchen, where she opened a can of food and dumped it unceremoniously onto a small plate. She put it on the floor in front of the cat with a mumbled “Enjoy”, then headed back to her bedroom to try to get a few more minutes of sleep.

Once Garf was finished eating, he dashed out the cat door into the back yard. There he found a clowder of cats sitting in the middle of the yard in a circle, all staring at each other. There was a space open in the circle, as if waiting for another cat to join it. Garf ran up and slipped into the open spot.

“Sorry I’m late,” he said to the assembled cats. “My human wouldn’t get out bed like she’s supposed to. I’m working on it, though. I almost have her trained to get up and feed me first thing in the morning.”

The silver tabby in the group nodded. “Good. Are you making any other progress, Number 5?”

“Some. She’s decent with cleaning my litter box and I almost have her trained with using toys. I’m still working on other aspects of her training.”

The silver tabby nodded again then faced the Siamese cat. “How is the training of your human coming along, Number 3?”

“Fairly well, Number 1,” the Siamese replied. “He also is doing well in regards to litter box cleaning. He’s also good when it comes to giving me those tasty, crunchy treats. He still insists on trying to put stupid outfits on me, though, even though I warn him off with growls and paw swipes.”

Many of the other cats nodded and commented on having similar problems with their humans.

The silver tabby looked at a Russian Blue and asked, “How about you, Number 4?”

“Not too bad, sir,” she replied. “They have finally gotten a huge cat tree for me, after all the effort I’ve put into showing them the necessity of one. And they’ve gotten a bunch of fun toys for me. Treat training is going fairly well, too. I am still working on trying to get them to let me outside more. I keeping having to find ways to sneak out to make these meetings.”

Number 1 looked around the group and asked, “Does anyone have anything else to report?”

A black cat opened his mouth, hesitated, then said, “My humans brought home a dog the other day.”

The rest of clowder gasped and began talking over one another, some offering sympathy and some offering advice, and others remarking their angry disbelief.

Number 1 brought the group under control before telling them, ” All right. I think that’s enough for today. Let’s all return home to work on training our humans for the Master Plan, and also think of way to help Number 6 with the dog problem. We’ll meet back here first thing tomorrow morning to discuss the dog. Dismssed!”


This post is part of the Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, “first thing”:

The Friday Reminder for #SoCS & #JusJoJan 2021 Daily Prompt – Jan. 16th

 


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The Medium – Stream of Consciousness Saturday #SoCS

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Jack and Jen stood in the living room of their new home and heaved a sigh. It had taken a few weeks but they had finally finished unpacking everything. Jen took a look around the room, making sure everything was where it should be – photos on the walls, books on the bookcase, knickknacks on the shelves and in the curio cabinet, Fluffy’s dog bed in the corner, … With a nod of approval, she collapsed on the couch. Jack joined her a moment later.

“Finally,” Jack said. “I though we’d never finish.”

“I know. But we did. And now, this place can finally start to feel like home.”

“Yeah.”

It was getting late, so the couple decided to retire for the night. As they left the living the room and were heading to bed, a small figurine in the curio cabinet turned slightly toward them.

In the middle of the night, Jen woke up, thinking she’d heard footsteps outside the bedroom door. Heart pounding, afraid someone had broken in, she roughly shook Jack’s arm to wake him, then told him what she’d heard. He shook his head, sure she’d just dreamed it, and was about to tell her that when Fluffy jumped down from the bed and ran to the door. Then he heard the footsteps outside the door, too, clear as day. 

Jack hurried to the door and yanked it open. Fluffy ran out into the hall and towards the living room while Jack peered up and down the hall for who was walking around. To his surprise, no one was there. Confused, he checked each room along the hall, but found no one. He then made his way towards the front of the house to check there. When he got to the living room, he found Fluffy sitting in front of the curio cabinet, staring intently at it. Some of the figurines had be turned around inside it. One of the photos was hanging cockeyed on the wall, as well.

Stunned, Jack called out for Jen to come see it. When she arrived, she gasped in shock. “What’s going on, Jack?” she asked fearfully.

“I don’t know, Jen. I know what it looks like, but it can’t be. Can it?”

“Surely not,” she replied, but finding it hard to discount her eyes.

The couple returned to bed but found it hard to sleep. The next few days found more strange happenings. More things moved around. The sound of footsteps continued, along with the occasional whispered voice. Even an odd shadowy figure began to be seen.

When Jen awoke one night to see the indistinct figure of a older woman standing beside her, she screamed. The figure vanished as Jack awoke with a start and Fluffy sat up at the foot of the bed, instantly alert.

Jen tearfully recounted what she’d seen, and Jack decided they had no other choice but to do something about the problem.

The next day, Jack did some online research and made a few phone calls. The following day, a middle-aged woman arrived at the house. Jack let her in and introduced her to Jen as Linda, a local psychic medium he’d asked to come take a look at the house and possibly tell them what was going on. Jen started to tell her what they’d experienced but Linda held up a hand and walked purposefully to the living room. Jack and Jen followed.

“This room is where the majority of the experiences have been, correct?” Linda asked as she placed a hand on the curio cabinet.

Jen nodded but explained that things had happened throughout the house. She and Jack then led her around the house to let her get a feel for the whole place. Then they returned to the living room.

Linda took a seat on the couch, closed her eyes, let her breathing slow and her senses reach out around her. She began softly asking questions of whatever might be there.

After a few minutes, she opened her eyes and looked at Jack and Jen. She gave them a small smile. “You have nothing to fear,” she told them. “I have sensed no evil here, only the presence of one spirit. She tells me her name is Martha, and she used to live in this house. She didn’t mean to scare you. She was only trying to let you know she was here. She asked me to tell you that she’s happy to have you living here with her, as she’s been lonely and she likes you, and she hopes you will stay.”

Jack and Jen released breaths they didn’t realize they’d been holding. Relieved to know there was nothing bad in the house, they agreed to try living with Martha as long as she kept activity to a minimum, believing they could handle a little minor spiritual activity once in a while.

As the medium took her leave, Jack and Jen thanked her for her help, and Linda told them to call her if they ever needed her help again. Jack didn’t think they would, but he said they would if they did. Linda gave them a smile that seemed genuine but for some reason also made Jack feel a little uneasy, then drove off.

As Jack watched Linda drive off, he shrugged, thinking he’d imagined things, and he and Jen headed back inside the house.

Things in the house were peaceful for Jack and Jen from then on, with only a little ghostly activity from Martha now and again.

At least, for a while…


This post is part of the Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, “medium”:

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS Oct. 10/2020


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The E-Collar – Stream of Consciousness Saturday #SoCS

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Lucy set the cat carrier down and shut the front door. Then she took the carrier into the living room and set it on the couch. A little black cat mewed from inside the carrier as she rummaged in her large purse.

A tortoiseshell cat wandered into the living room and over to the couch. She looked up at the carrier and asked the black cat, “How did it go at the vet, Salem?”

“It wasn’t too bad, Patches,” Salem replied. “I don’t remember some of it, for some reason, but Mom says my big boy surgery went well. So I guess now I’m a big boy.” He purred a little at the thought.

Patches seemed to smirk as she said, “Oh, yeah, you’re a big boy now, Salem. Do you even know what happened during that surgery?”

Salem stopped purring abruptly, not liking Patches’ tone. “No. What?”

“Don’t you feel pain in a certain location?”

“Yes, a little. They gave me some drugs, I think, to dull the pain.”

“Think, Salem. What’s in the area where you’re feeling the pain?”

Salem focused his attention on the location where the pain was. After a couple of moments, he realized what Patches was referring to and understood finally what had happened at the vet.

Salem began yowling from the carrier, upset at what he’d been put through, and Patches watched in amusement.

Lucy then found what she was looking for in her purse and pulled it out. It was a clear, plastic E-collar that the vet had given her to put on Salem to keep him from messing up the stitches from his surgery. Patches saw it and her amusement grew.

Lucy opened the carrier and took out Salem, who squirmed in her hand and yowled more. She put him in her lap as he continued to struggle, and with minor difficulty managed to fit the E-collar around the black cat’s neck. Then she set him on the couch and took the carrier away.

Salem sat on the couch, miffed at his situation and biting at the collar as he tried to figure out a way to get it off. Patches laughed at him.

“What’s so funny?” Salem asked grumpily.

“You look like a satellite dish, Salem. Or a lamp.”

“Ha ha. Very funny, Patches. How about you do something a little more comforting, huh? I mean, I did just have you-know-what done.”

Patches jumped up on the couch, went over to Salem, and leaned against him. “I love you, lamp,” she quipped.

Salem rolled his eyes. “Shut up, Patches,” he replied.

Photo is from my Pinterest

This post is part of the Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, “collar”:


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Sharp As A Tack – Stream of Consciousness Saturday #SoCS

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Jenny opened the backdoor and stepped outside, calling for her poodle puppy Shasta to follow her. The little apricot puppy did as asked, barreling out the backdoor after her owner. Jenny’s boyfriend, Michael, followed after them. Jenny had said that poodles were a smart breed, so he was curious to see just how smart the energetic fuzzball was.

It was a pretty, sunny Autumn day, and a light breeze was blowing through the trees. Occasionally, a red or yellow leaf would drift to the ground. Jenny stood in the middle of the yard as Shasta ran circles around her, eager to play.

“Shasta,” Jenny called. “Come here!”

Shasta continued to run around Jenny while letting out small yips of excitement.

Michael chuckled from the back porch.

“Shasta!” Jenny called. “Come! Sit!”

Shasta stopped running and looked up at Jenny, her head tilted quizzically to one side.

“Shasta, sit!” Jenny repeated firmly, pointing to the ground in front of her. 

Shasta stared at Jenny again, then sat down. Her rear had barely touched the grass when she spotted a squirrel in the yard by the back fence. Shasta instantly took off after it, her little barks echoing across the yard as she ran. The squirrel jumped the fence and scurried up the nearest tree. Shasta stood at the fence, barking up the tree at the squirrel.

Jenny heaved a sigh and shook her head.

Michael laughed and said, “Oh, yeah, she’s as sharp as a tack, Jenny!”

“Stop laughing, Michael,” Jenny replied. “She’s still a puppy and we’ve haven’t been working long on her training. Just you wait. I’ll have her doing all sorts of tricks.”

At the fence, Shasta was jumping up and down, trying to figure out how to get over the fence and get to the squirrel. Michael saw her and snickered. “Sure,” he told Jenny. “I’d like to see that.”

They turned and started to head inside. They didn’t see Shasta spot a pile of junk not far away that was leaning against the fence and start to make her way towards it, intending to climb up it and over the fence.

As Michael and Jenny started to head inside, Jenny called for Shasta. Shasta paused on top of the first piece of junk, gave the squirrel in the tree a brief look of longing, then ran off to follow Jenny inside.

 


This post is part of the Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt, “sharp”:

The Friday Reminder and Prompt for #SoCS Sept. 5/2020