Balnoria Night

Copyright © 1999 Walt Zientek

Boy, it was quiet. "Too quiet," she thought as she headed out into the darkness.

The strong spotlight faded quickly as she made her way out back, leaving her
alone in the blackness. She flicked on the powerful flashlight and scanned the
grounds for the hens.

Inside the house, the dogs paced nervously from window to door, the hair prickled
up on their backs; their ears set forward to catch any sounds. The big yellow boy
tensed every muscle in his powerful body. And listened. And sniffed at the air.

Fear of coyotes made her keep the dogs in at night, though she'd feel safer if they
were close by. She worried more about their well being than her own, so she locked
them safely in.

"No coyotes tonight," she thought to herself. "Too quiet."

As she moved farther from the house and deeper into the darkness, the dogs grew
even more agitated and quickened their pacing. A low growl escaped the big boys

"Here chick-chick" she cooed softly, aware of the beads of sweat forming between
her shoulder blades and beginning to run down her back.

She shuddered. With all the heat she felt very cold. She shook again, as much from
nerves as temperature.

Now, all the dogs were growling steadily and staring out the windows

She felt watched and she froze.

"Dear Lord," she said aloud. "Dear Lord."

The fat hens appeared in the beam of the flashlight and made their way right to her.
She grabbed them up and swung the light around. All seemed well. A coyote howled
far in the distance. The buzz of insects filled the air and she turned for home.

Inside the house the dogs settled down, except the big one. He waited patiently for
her return.

"Hi Herc," she said, as she crossed the threshold to the sight of the happily wagging

"Glad to see me?" she asked.

The big dog just stared out into the darkness as she shut and locked the door.


for Deirdre

Back to Caleb's Corner

Last modified: 8-19-2000

Page Copyright © 1999-2000 Walt Zientek <>