"CONVERSATIONS"

               WITH ABBY AND KEEPER

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Abby looks to adventure on the Sheep River in the Rockies west of her Alberta home 

DAY 1

"Abby!!!"

"Yes sir."

Whatís that?"

Whatís what sir?"

"Well, this gopher here. Whatís it doing here."                                                  

"Well sir, I captured him and I played with him a while and now heís resting a bit. And maybe Iíll play with him some more."

"Gophers donít play with dogs Abby. What were you doing with him?"

"Well, sir, I beg to differ a little bit from your own opinion as I think we wuz playing. Leastways I was throwing him up in the air and catching him and running around with him in my mouth. So I think we wuz playing which would be a different thought from your own. I think heís just a little tired right now."

"Well Abby I would agree that heís tired because heís just laying there but at least heís still breathing which is more than I can say for the last one you caught."

"Well, sir, let me Ďsplain about that last one as we didnít quite know he was a gopher because weíd only heard them gophers and never really seen a live one before and then he came over from the horse farm yonder and started running on top of the ground and well, we didnít know he was sorta fragile if you follow what Iím saying here. You know that gopher turned out be be fragile-like and we wuz playing tug Ďoí war with him well, sir, and he kinda broke."

"I know he broke. I had to pick him up. And you know why he broke Abby?"

"No sir, not really. I think he wuz, like I said, fragile you know."

"He broke because in your game of tugíoíwar, you and Keeper used him as the rope."

"Uh, huh."

Abby's in trouble again!!!

"So letís not break this one. Here, Iíll get my gloves on and now Iíll put him over the fence."

Well . . . . just a minute sir!!! I donít know. . . . . . . canít I just carry him around and throw him in the air and catch him just for a while longer. He donít mind . . . . . much."

"Abby, we donít want these gophers in our yard because they dig holes and such. So we donít want him feeling welcome or anything. Weíd rather he went back to the farm where he came from. Thatís where his family is. So Iím going to put him over the fence like this and . . . . . . hey Abby see that? Look at that varmint running away."

"I donít understand sir, I thought he liked to play and now heís running like all get out through that tall grass by the field. Iíll bet he doesnít even come back. Was it something we said?"

"Well, Abby, maybe you were a little rough on him. And he was all slimy wet because you had him in your mouth."

"Aw. . . . That donít mean anything anyhow. I caught that butterfly once, remember, and carried him around in my mouth and then spit him out. All we did was wait for him to dry up a bit and then he flew off. So that gopher was OK. Honest."

"Well, next time be careful with the gophers. Bark at them and scare them out of here or something but maybe donít play so rough with them."

"Oh, alright. Shucks. . . . . . say. . . . . . . can I have your glove?"

Life is faster for Keeper now that she lives in the country

DAY 2

Keeper!!!

"Yes sir. How are you sir?"

"Well, I'm fine Keeper although my bum is a little sore from my new bicycle. Now . . . . why are you barking towards sunset all the time?"

"Well . . . . . you know . . . . . . villains and such."

Now Keeper, thatís a pretty wide field, the villain field I mean. Are you barking at a cow, a horse, a gopher, a coyote, an elk, a deer and other such things? Or just one villain in particular."

"Oh boy, sir, tonight itís one villain in particular for sure!!!"

"Oh well, I see. So which villain would that be?"

"Well, sir, you see way down in the valley there, well sir, I remembered from this afternoon there were some dogs down there digging holes and looking for gophers and mice and such . And I could see them down there this afternoon so I didnít have to bark cause I could see them from a long way. But itís getting on night now and itís a bit dark but let me tell you something sir I canít see them much but I think I can hear them sneaking up on us!!!"

"Holy crow Keeper!!!. You donít say!!! Now . . . . why is they sneaking up on us?"

"Oh sir, they is terrible, terrible villains, those dogs down there. Everybody knows it and if I must say sir Iím a little surprised you havenít heard it yourself. Why, theyíz into all sorts of terrible things like tortures and stuff."

"Tortures!!!"

"Oh yes sir, if they wuz to capture you why Iíd be very afraid for your very life I would indeed sir. Theyíz very, very bad.

"And itís just these dogs that do that?"

"Oh heck no sir. They all do it. All the deer, moose, coyote, elk, and gophers all do it. Oh yes sir, indeed sir, we gotta be on top of our toes so we can stay out of their evil clutches."

"Well heck Keeper, thatís good to know. Since you explained it so good I guess thatís OK. But listen, when youíre barking towards sunset to warn those evil critters away can you move down the field a piece? Your ma Carol and I canít read too good with you barking so close."

"Sure . . . . no problem. But . . . . uh. . . . . youíll come rescue me if I get captured wonít you? I donít know if I could hold up under tortures and stuff. I might spill the beans!!!!"

"The beans?"

"Oh you know, secrets and the like. They might grill me a bit and I might tell them everything!!!"

"Jeez Keeper, I never thought of that. Well sure, weíll come and rescue yourself if you get captured and start spilling the beans on us. But you just move away from the house a bit before you bark. And keep a good lookout as weíre all depending mightily on you coming through."

"Oh yes sir, Iíll watch out good!!!"

"Thanks Keeper."

The cleanup is always less fun than the digging says Abby!!!