Hey Micron, says Euka, staring out the window. Explain this thing about human beans and water.
Whad’ya mean? asks Micron. He puts down his chew bone and walks over to see what the puppy’s looking at. Might be squirrels, you never know.
Well, I don’t get it, says Euka. Yesterday they went out in the big blue water bowl out there and were all laughy and stuff. Then later they even sat inside that bubbly water bowl, the one that makes rumbly tummy noises.
Yeah, I saw ’em, says Micron. I’m still a little fluffed about not being allowed in. Right? Like, hello . . . water dogs and water. It’s a natural thing. He glances over at Jager. For some of us.
And it’s not just the big water bowl thing, says Euka. I mean, just lookit out there. It’s raining! I want go out and jump and roll around in the squishy smells. But they’re all rushy about us doing our business and making us come right back in. It’s like they don’t like water today. But yesterday it was ok and . . .
I know, says Micron. Sometimes it’s hard to put a paw on what’s going on inside those round heads. He pats the top of his own head. Since they’re missing the Knot of Knowledge up there, some of their thoughts just kinda bounce around like a pea in a balloon. You know, like your ball with the bell inside? It never makes any sense either.
But I’m not too worried, he continues. Today’s when they promised to take me down to the beach so I can carry wonderful things around in my mouth. Right, Food Lady? He looks at me with those root beer brown eyes and blinks.
Um, I say. Slight change of plans there, big guy.
Even I have a hard time reconciling why I don’t mind the pool and the hot tub, but yet worry so much about my hair in the rain. But it’s true, I don’t really feel like a beach walk on this cool, rainy day. I feel bad, though. After checking out the sights for the past couple of days with Miss Euka, we did promise the big yeller feller a special outing of his own today.
Easy nuff, though. It’s not hard to make this dog deliriously happy. Sometimes just carrying a roll of paper towels around can get the Tail of Wondrous Beauty to wag of dance of joy. Or a ride in the car can do the trick.
And . . . all is well in Micron’s world.
But what about us human beans? More than a little rain, this is a coastal weather phenomena that leaves one with the gut feeling that we’re not gonna work on that tan any today.
As I peer out the front door in deep concentration, what to do for lunch, a critter catches my eye. My good eye, that is. Bigger than a mouse, smaller than a bunny. A compact dark body that seems to be clipping along at a decent, yet oddly clunky pace.
Is that a turtle? But it’s so determined and more much agile than our Eastern Box Turtles back in Ohio. I run out with the Canon for a closer inspection and now the thing looks, well, kinda not alive anymore. Dang, nature’s harsh out here in the Outer Banks. But I go all photo journalist on the situation and take photos anyway. Its little stubby legs are splayed out, the snouty head is on on the ground with sightless eyes staring off to nowhere.
The poor thing. Did it just crawl out here with some last burst of energy? A turtle’s last hurrah, so to speak. He gathered up the last vestiges of terrapin grit and fury to pull himself out of the mud, so he could shake his little turtle fist at the sky and say I was here, world!
Huh, or is this guy just messing with me? A survival technique of the ages, the old playing ‘possum ploy? So I touch the back of his shell with my big toe and . . .
Do turtles growl? I think I heard a snarl or something. This fella has risen to his full height and with the chest span of a bull terrier is standing firm to challenge me. Yeah ok, I didn’t see that coming. But even worse is the eye contact.
|Bring it on, fool.|
I will eat your soul, says the mud turtle. And your big toe’s going down, too.
Dang, Mother Nature. That’s some harsh stuff, girlfriend.
And so not to prove myself top of the food chain, but yeah maybe a little, we’ve scheduled a date with some local fisherman and it’s time to check out what the tide brought in for these guys.
If the sea was willing, we had our hopes up to score us some fresh flounder. We talked earlier with Vince, a super nice guy, who comes from a long line of Southern Outer Banks fisherman in his family. And we met Aaron, Jr. who was at hand to take pity on these out-of-towners and mercifully clean said fresh flounder for us.
We don’t have the tools to clean fish at the rental, was my claim. Could you help us out with that?
Aaron, Jr. will do that for ya, we’re told. There’s no one better, they say. We select some fine flounder to fillet, which means Aaron the Third held up some fish and I said, yeah those look good.
Can I be trusted to recognize a good flounder? No. The answer is no. The fish were big, flat, had both eyes on the same side of their head and weren’t moving anymore. And that, to me, is Good Eatin’ Flounder criteria. We are completely at the mercy of Aaron III. Who, it turns out, is a pretty decent guy, too.
I’m not kidding when I say the next hour was one of the top highlights of our week on Cedar Island. We’ll set you up with a mess of fish and a load of bullshit today, says Aaron, Jr. as he entertains us with yet another story in that distinct Southern Outer Banks dialect. Which is different on every island down here, we’re told. The dialect, that is. Not sure about the bullshit, but it makes me happy believing that’s unique, too.
In all the talking and scaling, we came out of there with the intended flounder, some spot and a couple of trout. And a bunch of blue crab claws. A list of sundry items, as recommended by professional fishermen, to get from the island’s only convenience store was pretty handy to have for our impending fish fry and crab boil.
Oh, is it still raining? No matter, y’all. We’re pan frying fresh flounder served with a side of steamed crab. It’s a good day here on Cedar Island.
We can do the beach another day.