“Go peepee now. Hurry.” I snapped at the dog.
He glanced up at my direction, lifted his leg, and started to walk away.
“No. I have to leave. Come on.” I jerked the leash and pulled him inside the gate.
I filled their bowls with fresh water and grabbed the keys. “I’ll be back. Be good.”
They averted their eyes.
The dogs had gotten used to having me around, and now they were being left at home while I enriched my human life improving writing and social skills at the workshop.
“The dogs are fine on their own, I think. I just need to get back to them before the sun starts to go down and wild pigs come out in the yard,” I told a fellow participant, walking back to our cars after the workshop.
“Some pigs are aggressive. They’ll easily knock you down, and, remember, they have tusks. They can hurt dogs and you. Be careful.”
“I will. See you next week,” I got in my car, wove through the rush hour traffic, and hurried home, chasing the setting sun.
I took the girl dog first to let her do her business outside while keeping my eye out. She wandered and sniffed a little but mainly focused on and took care of what needed to be done.
The boy dog, however, needed to investigate. He pulled me, walked ahead of me, stopped and sniffed, leaving his mark, whenever and wherever he wanted. The sun was retreating to the western horizon, and birds were returning to their nests. A gust swept the ground around us.
As the dog was relieving himself, I saw, out of the corner of my eye, the brush at the edge of the unfenced yard move. Then, the angry red eyes and spiky tusks of a lone boar stuck out, glistening.
I pulled the leash, turning around, and yelled, “Run!” The dog did not see the intruder yet and started to run; he ran past me and kept running towards the house. My feet moved at a leaden pace. I looked back and saw the beast closing in on us. Yanking the leash, I went around and behind the banana plants to hide. My boy dog paused next to me, his ears pricked. The boar watched us through the plants. We all weighed our options with bated breath. When the pig made his move, my dog leaped, nipping him. The boar froze, looking stunned. “Run! Now!” I yanked the leash again. The dog ignored me and stood firm, growling at the foe. “No! Come!” I staggered, tugged and untangled the leash while the dog kept twisting around to get to the villain. I scrambled onto the back porch dragging my boy and slammed the gate shut, panting.
From the enclosed porch, the dogs and I watched the encroacher mosey around. He sniffed and dug the ground, hurling the dirt and grass. My two dogs gave me an inquiring look.
“What? I ain’t going out there. Look at him! He’s huge! And, got tusks!”
My hands gestured the imagined tusks out of my jawline. Both dogs turned their heads away from me, getting their focus back on the trespasser.
I got to do something…
I looked around and grabbed a tall broom.
Making sure the dogs were safely confined, I marched towards him. The black, hairy beast craned his neck, sniffing the air. My heart pounded while my hands trembled. Moving closer to him, I swung the broom to scare him away. His head moved towards my direction. In my sweaty palms, the plastic weapon slipped. The dogs barked behind me, snapping at each other in frustration. Tightening my grip, I tiptoed and stopped. He halted, too, stiff and tense. I could hear my blood pumping.
Waving the broom frantically, I took one step forward and let out a big roar.
He sprang and darted away into the bushes, trailing the fading sound of rustling and crashing.
I inhaled and exhaled. The humid air cooling my blood and quieting my heart. I turned to look at my dogs, and they stared back at me, leaning forward with the lingering excitement. As I strode back to the house, both dogs sat and waited.
They wagged their tails and followed me inside.
I went back to the aforementioned store, which was not so new anymore, and picked up the essentials. Pushing the cart, I sauntered through the aisle of bed and bath section towards the cashier. A gallery of brand new sheets and pillowcases beckoned.
Should I get new sheets?
My old sheets had a few rips and, despite the regular washing, funky old dog smell.
A white duvet cover in a plastic bag caught my attention, and I stopped. Simple and pristine. My fingers hovered over the glossy plastic bag with fresh linen inside. I took a deep breath, grabbed the new cover, and added in the cart with the usual: the cleaning products, a box of store brand wheat cereal, a carton of low-fat milk, and bottles of sparkling water.
For those who are perplexed about the title, there is a saying about us fire-horse women. We are passionate beings, often reckless. The curse is, they say, we drive men in our lives to an early death. Only courageous men and those who are not familiar with the Oriental culture take us as their wives.