It's been awhile since I could devote some brain cells to another installment, but here it is.
Driving down Route 12 from Lake Elmore to Morristown Veterinary Hospital on Route 100 towards Stowe, I had plenty of time to think. Usually I do my best thinking while in the bathroom, but now seemed like a good time to do it, so I didn't wait until then. Had Yogi been afraid of something? Had he developed a taste of blood out of necessity or by choice? And why the running in circles? Brain worms? I know that moose sometimes get those, but that just usually makes them even more docile and disoriented. And the dogs. A pack of dogs runing deer will usually band together and attack if threatened. There was no sign that an attack had occurred except the killing of the dog by Yogi. And then there was the scratching, almost digging at the ledge. I was giving myself a "HEAD-ON" headache, so I figured that I'd just wait to talk to Lou. Plus, it gave me a chance to enjoy the scenery. I was just getting to Sand Hill, and coming over that rise was always an awe inspiring sight. When the sky is the color of a robin's egg like it was today, Mount Mansfield just seemed to pop out of the sky. Rolling mountains, carved out of granite by the advancement and subsequent retreat of the glaciers millions of years before, and now covered by a blanket of mixed hardwoods, softwoods, and ski trails. Sand Hill is steep enough so the view doesn't last more than a few seconds, and although the mountains stay in sight, those few seconds are worth slowing down for. Good thing too, because the town of Morristown in it's infinite wisdom put a reduced speed limit right at the bottom of the hill. Truckers just loved that, and quite a few had donated some hard earned cash to the coffers of the Morristown Police Department. Either that or burn out the brakepads. I was just coming into the village when my cellphone rang. Vermont had passed a law baning the use of handheld phones while driving, so I pulled into Cumberland Farms. I needed gas anyway, and a cold soda seemed like a good idea also. Once I pulled up to the gas pumps I answered the call. It was Phil, and he wanted to know why I hadn't gotten over to see Wayland.
"He's madder than a wet cat, Dus. Thinks we just blew him off. What's takin' you so long?"
"Well damn, Phil, I figgered with this bear thing, that I better go myself to see what Lou thinks. Joe should be there already, and they can get him unloaded and on the table. Call Wayland back for me and tell him one of your famous lies. I'd rather that as few people right now know about this. Word gets around and we'll have every dimwit out there trying to shoot bear. You know as well as I do that Wayland is a talker, and that's putting it politely. Just let me know what lie that you're using so I can back it up."
"Alright already! Geeze Dus, one of these days I'm going to let you do your own lieing. OK, get down there, find out what she thinks and let me know. And TRY to keep your mind on the job while you're there. I know that's tough, but remember that she's too much woman for you anyway. And you only have two feet. She likes her animals to have four."
Morristown Veterinary hospital had been around for some 20 years, they tell me, and had undergone a major expansion and renovation 3 years ago. State of the Art examining rooms, complete with X-ray and MRI, designed to serve animals from the smallest parakeet to the largest elephant; yes I said elephant, as one took sick last year while at the Lamoille County Field Days. People STILL talk about that one. Looked like something out of that god-awful Smokey and the Bandit sequel years back. But Lou figured out the problem, a dozen swallowed plastic grocery bags, gave him an enema, and sent him home. Stink, oh Gawd that was awful. Lou said the stuff worked well on her garden though, although she had a tough time giving the extra tomatos away.
"Mr. Wilcox, I presume. Or should I call you 'O Great Hunter of Bear out of Season?' Joe just got done unloading the bear. Lucky that I invested in that mini-forklift last spring. So Darius are you going to give me the particulars, or shall I wait for the DVD to come out?"
Oh what a woman. A wiseass AND a nice ass. Made me glad that I didn't take Yogi straight down to Montpelier for the exam.
I gave her all that I knew so far, which wasn't much but then again answers were what I had come HERE for.
"So, how long you think that it'll be 'fore you finish the autopsy? There's something odd about this, and I really don't want the Wildlife Commissioner calling me a dozen times a day. " In reality, I wanted it to take some time. It'd give me an excuse to stop in sooner.
"Well you know that there are two things that can't be rushed; science nor a beautiful woman. And since I fall under one-and-a-half of these two catagories, I will tell you to come back Tuesday. I'll either be more beautiful or I'll have a preliminary finding for you. If you're lucky, both. "
"I will surely await the results then on both fronts, then. It IS refreshing to have such professional service in these parts. You have my number, so call anytime. Oh one other thing. I Dan Hartiway from the Free Press calls, tell him you're treating Yogi for symtoms of alien abduction. That'll give him a headline to run with, and give him a devil of a time trying to find facts enough to write a story that those pompous editors up there will approve. I'll handle the rest."