Monday, December 8, 2008
A Suburban Ghost Story
Around 2 o clock this morning, my dog began barking & growling in the kitchen. It woke me up.
"Is she growling?" I asked my wife.
"Yes. Will you go check it out?" She said.
'Checking out' mysterious noises in the middle of the night is part of my husbandly duties. Secretly, I enjoy it. I don't get to do it often, but when I do, I get a primitive thrill.
We are not so long out of the trees, you know.
So I grabbed the Louisville slugger that we keep just inside the closet door, & slid down the hallway like a stalking puma: I was ready to take down whatever invader it was my faithful companion had apprehended.
Let me add this detail: My dog is not a regular barker. She typically will only bark when someone is coming up the pathway to our house, or when someone is on our deck. When she hears the doorknob in the living room jiggling when either my wife or I are inserting our keys into it, she barks. This trait has reassured my wife & I, because we have kids.
My dog barks when there are strangers approaching our house, or near our house. I've never heard her growl before, in addition to the barking. At 2 in the morning when you are creeping around your house in a t-shirt and a pair of boxers with a Louisville Slugger hoisted at the ready, the mind can only settle on a few options: Someone is in the house.
I turned the corner to the kitchen to see what all the ruckus was about. We had left the oven light on to remind us there were biscuits in there for breakfast: It cast an eerie glow on the whole room, which was neat and orderly, no sign of anything inappropriate.
Except a few steps away from our little fold-in kitchen table, one of the chairs was turned around. It was in the middle of the kitchen, facing the doorway in which I was standing. The light from the oven was illuminating it, & and the dog was right in front of it, snarling and barking. I felt a small chill run down my back.
When the dog saw me she relented, & I scratched her behind the ear. I turned the chair around & pushed it back under the table. After I did this, our dog relaxed.
My wife came around the corner. "What was she barking at?" She said in a sleepy voice.
"It was this chair." I said. "It was in the middle of the room, facing the doorway." I made a grimace that I hoped might suggest something creepy about the rearranged furniture. I don't think it worked.
"hm." My wife said. "So our dog is into Feng Shui."