It was a family-only service there at brother Dan’s graveside accompanied by abundant, often painful memories. One doesn’t bury his brother every day, thank God.

The brighter side, however was a visit from too-long removed family with invigorated kids. With the waning day, some had already departed. The pace of conversation was yet lively when an odd occurrence punctuated the overcast afternoon.

Jude had driven the Gator down to the horse barn for end of day feeding when a freakish disturbance was audible from there. A dog, our dog, started frantically barking at something in that direction.

The fracas was quickly enjoined by Jude, yelling at the dog, Echo, with fevered pitch to stop. What the heck was going on down there ? Best could be deciphered from my distance, up at the house, was that Echo was in some rip-snortin’ fight with a wild animal.

A few kids could now be heard at the location. Presently neighbor, Randy showed up at the house, but not before Echo appeared dragging in her mouth some near-lifeless critter. Turns out she had crossed paths with a coon.

The coon stood its ground.

The coon lost.

The most interesting dynamic of the whole thing was the remaining guest’s reaction to the happenstance. Wasn’t hard to tell which were country folks and which were city. A bit of innocent country killing is standard procedure for some.

I would love to have heard Dan’s take on what had just happened. He always had a sense of humor that could spin some measure of droll perspective on whatever the circumstance. I miss him already.


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