The Chronicles of Wacker the Wonder Basset Hound
IT IS HARD TO BE THE KING
I sat and watched the evening news with my dog Whacker the Wonder Basset Hound he mentioned to me that he liked the fact that I had changed newsmen. Brian Williams had become my evening watch instead of Scott Pelly. It was after the broadcast ended that Whacker said he had to go out and check the yard, or as he calls it his Kingdom. He regally walks to the edge of the deck and before he ascended down the three steps to the courtyard he barks out an announcement to everyone that he is about to enter the parade ground. The squirrels stand at attention on the wood fence with there tails standing erect. Rabbits gather at the fence peering through the knot holes and spaces between the boards. Cats stop and turn there attention to him. Other dogs line up to the chain link fence on the sides hoping to have at the very least a nose bump. They would prefer a fist bump but dogs can't make a fist. He steps down the steps leaving both back paws on the last step he turns to bark out commands in both directions. The wind is the only thing making a sound. If only he could control it too. He make a wide arc getting close to the wood fence with his nose down to pick up any sent of an intruder. He stops short of the chain link fence raises his head and barks out orders to the dogs by the fence. They back up as they are told and get ready to be called to the fence. Sugar the brown and white Cocker mix is the first called. They meet and touch noses. She wiggles all over knowing that she was chosen as his first. After a long nose kiss they separate. Another dog is summoned before him and he nods only. He then marches down the fence barking out his orders for the day. He then trots over and goes behind a bush to take care of his bodily functions. Bolting out of the bush he rounds the yard satisfied with his performance glancing up he sees three crows have landed on the telephone line. He knows that in the past he has been mocked by this species so he turns and locks eyes with them. Two fly off but the third starts cawing out a challenge. The hair stands up on Whackers back and he barks a reply to the bird. The bird swoops down. Whackers back legs lower as if he was about to sit. On the second pass the bird comes in closer Whacker springs up twice the length of his thirty seven inch body and grabs a mouth full of feathers. The bird almost fall out of the sky but regains his flight and leaves the area cawing obscenities as he flies away. He surveys his kingdom. Squirrels bounce their tails in approval and chatter up praises. Rabbits flex up and down and bring their ears up and down. Cats meow cheers and the dog at the fence wag and whine out their approval. With tail standing straight up he heads up the stairs. At the door he knocks on the door to tell me to open it up. When I do he returns to the edge of the steps and barks out a goodbye. After all it is hard to be the king and he has to be grateful to his subjects. They all know that before the day ends he will repeat his rounds. Everyone feels safe and as John Steinbeck said in Cannery Row the world can turn on greased grooves again.