Sep 25, 2011


     The mole scurried back under the garbage bin clutching a limp brown cucumber peeling. 
     Smokey stretched, eying him from his perch atop the bin, but the stretch was the only effort the cat had any intention of expending. The mole was too scrawny, more bone than than meat.

     A loud crash spun Smokey's head toward the back yard.  Smoke billowed and curled, and the cat hackled. Fear clutched what was left of his black heart and he leapt to the ground.   He sidled along the fence toward the hollering and clamor, alert to likely danger manufactured by the beastly children. 
     The mole peeked out, sniffed, and scuttled back to the safety of his lair.
     Smokey slunk, ears up and whiskers testing.  A piece of smoldering cardboard floated through the air, dropping charred chunks hither and yon.  Hollering turned to delighted laughter as another resounding boom echoed.
     "Aim it away from the house!" 
     "I tried.  It flipped over."
     Smokey peered through the broken slat.  Three grubby boys gathered 'round a piece of plywood balanced on crooked sawhorses.  One taped a soda bottle to a fresh piece of cardboard, taking care not to cover the short fuse stemming from the bottle's neck. 
     This wasn't going to end well.  Smokey quickly retreated, seeking refuge under the overgrown shrubs encroaching the rotting front steps.  As he disappeared into the swale he had a quick vision of the mole disappearing beneath the bin.  He dismissed it -  it wasn't the same thing at all.

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