Outside of New Holland I met a few farmers at the crossroad that bordered their lands. One of the men was followed by a dog that, to me, resembled a coyote.
We talked for awhile about my journey to Pittsburg and my uncle being an example to diabetics that, with care, they can live past eighty. My uncle had managed his diabetes. My mother had lost her battle with diabetes aged fifty four years.
While the men and I talked, the animal played with passing cars. Standing at the edge of the road, he would wait for a passing auto to approach, then step onto the road. This would cause the traffic to edge over into the opposing lane. The further the cars would move over, the more he moved into the road.
I asked if the "dog" belonged to one of them. The farmer told me his family had adopted the trickster six months earlier when it showed up on the farm, then would not leave. "We named him Dog. I don't care if he gets hit, but the family has become attached to him."
I was about to walk through the night and walk seventeen miles into Circleville the next day. The man with the "dog" gave me his phone number, in case I needed help. The man went back to his farm, but while I spoke to the other farmers the "dog" remained, continuing to play with traffic.
When I walked away, "Dog" followed. I thought he would go back to his adopted farmhouse , he kept following. He followed and followed. Not only that, he taunted Nice (the dog). He was quicker than Nice, who was on a leash attached to me. Nice was obviously frustrated. He, "Dog", became more bold, nudging the passing autos over by walking further and further in the road. This went on all night.
The next morning, just outside of Circleville, we stopped at a gas station/ food mart. One of the women inside brought me three expired breakfast sandwiches. I gave "Dog" one to keep him away from Nice before I handed the one to Nice. "Dog" had already scarfed his down and tried to steal Nice's meal. Bad idea, considering he had been taunting Nice for fifteen miles and finally got close only to steal food. Nice left a mark. "Dog" didn't try to get the third sandwich which I also fed to Nice.
Continuing on, a policeman came and told me I had to leash "dog" or he would have to take him to the shelter. He was still following and playing with cars. I leashed him and then called the farmer to tell him that "Dog" had followed us all night, got beat up by Nice and I had been forced to leash him. The "dog" the man didn't care about the night before was suddenly very important. Grandma came to pick him up within the hour.
That was six years ago. Two days ago when I passed by the crossroad again I didn't see "Dog". I guess he eventually lost his game.
Today I met a man who gave me a piece of jewelry he made from the jawbone of a coyote. I didn't ask on what road he found the bone.
I have a good idea...