When I left for town yesterday, Jack did not come running for a pat and some cat kibble. Sure, he was probably full from the potatoes and carrots cooked with bacon that I shoveled out into his food pan an hour earlier. It was time to dispose of the Easter dinner leftovers and wash the containers. So Juno and Jack got some tasty bacon-infused veggies on top of their dry dog food. Juno still came for a hug and some kibble. It was only Jack and his partner in shenanigans, Copper Jack, who were absent from the side porch.
I could hear Jack yipping. It wasn't his territorial bark, or his intruder bark. It was yipping. A kind of excited, insistent bark that he sometimes uses when the cats won't comply with his wishes. I couldn't tell where he was, but it was somewhere out front. That yip is close to the injured yip, so I was a little worried that he might have gotten mixed up with the crazy Rottweiler beast from across the road. I looked all around that area as I left the driveway, but didn't see either Jack.
When I got home a couple hours later, I stopped T-Hoe at the end of the driveway, and walked the big green trash dumpster back to the house. My Sweet, Sweet Juno again greeted me. Alone. And I could still hear Jack yipping. On the way back up the driveway to T-Hoe, I determined that the yipping was coming from the area behind Farmer H's Shackytown. In the stand of trees around some gentle depressions in line with the sinkholes.
Of course I felt terrible. What if Jack had tumbled down into a sinkhole, and I'd left him trapped all this time? There's only one sinkhole there that's bottomless, that you can hear splashing if you drop something in. The others are pretty shallow. Since I could hear Jack, I knew he hadn't fallen into the water table.
I started across the yard when I was about halfway up the driveway. When I got closer to the trees, I could see Copper Jack, all tensed up like dogs get when they're about to pounce on something. A little closer, and I could see down into the depression. There was the back half of Jack! Wriggling and tail-wagging and darting forward and back. He had something trapped under a rock the size of a kitchen table. Copper Jack ran to the other side, waiting for the something to be flushed out.
Whatever it was, I don't think it was leaving any time soon. I mentioned it to Farmer H later, and he said it was probably a rabbit. I agree. When we came home from the casino trip Monday night at 10:00, a big rabbit ran across the gravel road and into the BARn field. Two more darted across the driveway towards that very sinkhole area. AND two weeks ago, there was a headless, chewed-on rabbit carcass behind the Gator.
I thought at first they may have trapped a squirrel. We have dozens of them. They eat the chicken feed that Farmer H throws out for his remaining guinea. But squirrels are quick to run up a tree. In my dreams, it would be a mole that those dogs were intent on killing. The front field is full of mole tunnels. More extensive than I knew, before I walked across it looking for Jack. But again, a mole would have merely ducked into its underground labyrinth to evade the dogs. I often see them digging to get at one, but we haven't found carcasses.
At least a rabbit can keep Jack busy. And I'm pretty sure we're not going to have a shortage of rabbits if he gets one.