Local father saves daughter from vicious animal attack

Local father saves daughter from vicious animal attack

I'm typing this from the celebrated Crystal Coast of North Carolina, where It's currently hotter than a $2 pistol but at least the ocean air is divine.


The main reason The Wife and I hit the beach every summer is so our two Tax Deductions experience the requisite amount of frolic in or near a natural body of water. We tried placating them with a $7 plastic pool, a sprinkler and a CD of soothing ocean sounds, but some wisenheimer hipped them to a map. As soon as they figured out the beach was only 90 minutes away, our fate was sealed.

As the TDs get older, it becomes more and more apparent how little I'm needed. TD No. 1 will be driving soon, and since there will be a caveat in her driving contract that will require her to take TD No. 2 everywhere she goes, in no time I'll be the parental equivalent of a beeper salesman.

(TD No. 1 just read the previous paragraph. I had to ask her to scream quietly so Daddy could work.) 

Even though the TDs use for me is waning, occasionally a situation will arise that thrusts me back into their favor. Case in point, two nights ago -- the place: Dawson Manor; the time: 7:43 p.m.

It was a dark and stormy night. A crippling humidity gripped the Bucklesberry community like Gailard Sartain's Speedo. The wind was gaining momentum as the TDs started their slow descent into sleep. Just as they were both about to start sawing lumber, a clap of thunder rattled the earth, causing one of them to call out "DADDY!!" in a fit of panic.

I have to say it was worth busting my toe on a door and stepping on a renegade Lego brick to get that call. It was from TD No. 2; I'd never seen her that scared by the weather before. I consoled her for a minute and then walked down the hall to check on TD No. 1.

"You OK?" I asked.

"I'm good," TD No. 1 said. 

"Can't you at least pretend to be a little scared of the storm?" I asked. 

"The only thing that could scare me would be if you made me take TD No. 2 with me when I get my drivers license," she said.

I went out to the carport to check on our dog Lucille, who has been known to tunnel through concrete to get away from thunder. She's a moderately large dog who, during this thunderstorm, was huddled on her doggie bed, curled up in a ball the size of a chickpea.

I sat beside her and scratched the back of her ears until the storm subsided. She panted with appreciation, although her breath partially melted my house key.

All was not lost. I realized my youngest daughter and my dog still needed me - at least during thunderstorms. The oldest daughter - apart from sometimes asking me for the wifi password (which I change daily in an effort to remain relevant) -- saw me as little more than a future cosigner, wedding financier and fodder for her first year of therapy. 

Fast forward a few days and it's bedtime again. TD No. 1 went outside to share some leftovers with Lucille. While coming back into the house, a rogue bug of some sort flew in the door. 

"DADDY!!!" TD No. 1 shrieked. "A BUG!!"

Armed with only my wits, a towel and an electrified tennis racket/bug zapper I'd received for my birthday, I hunted high and low for this bug that dared invade our sanctuary. Several swings and misses came and went - along with some moderate property damage - but eventually I got this thing in my sights and corralled it in the towel. 

According to Google, our winged-invader was a Giant Leopard Moth. Instead of turning it into Colgate crunchy-style, I decided to let the moth live. 

I walked out on the porch with the moth still buzzing in the towel, which I opened up. The moth buzzed around the porch light and I headed towards the door, feeling good that I'd shown mercy on this beautiful creature.

As I walked back towards the house, I saw the TDs standing at the window with tears in their eyes. It seems my act of kindness towards the moth had really touched them. I could even hear our dog Lucille scampering around behind me in an excited manner.

When I got back inside, I asked TD No. 1 was she crying tears of joy because I set the moth free.

"No," she said. "We were crying because when you turned around to come back inside, the dog ate the moth."

Jon Dawson can be reached at jon@neusenews.com and www.jondawson.com.







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