a breakfast serial

One bite-sized story every morning to uplift, motivate, or provoke thought.

Archive for animal tales

the circle of life

< by Jorie of themidwestmaven.wordpress.com >

When I was five years old, my family adopted our first pet, a chubby Australian Shepherd puppy by the name of Jink. He was all paws and mischief, and he behaved like the younger brother we never had. He’d steal hats off our heads and muffins from the countertop. He’d regularly jump the backyard fence and go for casual trots around the block.

But nothing tops the mischief Jink caused one hot September afternoon, when he was still just a puppy.

It began when my dad called out to the family from the backyard: “You gotta see this!”

We found him standing above a dead spot in the yard—a little crop circle of yellow grass—staring at a pile of intestines, perfectly coiled like a spring. “Fresh,” my dad said. “They’re still steaming.”

Wide-eyed, I searched the neighboring tree branches for the culprit. My dad surmised they were squirrel intestines, accidentally dropped by a passing bird. A manifestation of the circle of life had quite literally fallen from the sky into our suburban backyard. The four of us huddled around the oddity, silently taking in the scene.

Not one to be left out, Jink came bounding through the grass toward us. Australian Shepherds are a curious, intelligent, and playful breed by nature; still, none of us expected what he did next.

In one swift motion, Jink darted towards the intestines and grabbed one end in his mouth. He shook his head violently back and forth and released his jaw, letting the intestines fly. They soared through the air like a rope of sausage links.

We all watched in horror as the intestines hit my sister’s bare leg and winded up her calf, encircling her knee, and stopping mid-thigh. She shrieked and then burst into tears, hopping erratically as she tried to shed the steaming entrails.

Jink sprinted around the yard, happily taking his victory lap. He was a younger brother through and through.