Table of Contents

    Musing: Monstrous Attack

    Our morning began as every morning does. My ever patient partner in life and I took our four dogs for a three mile walk along the greenway that snakes through our neighborhood. We like to go early, before sunrise, before the heat of the day builds.

    The first character I need to introduce is Landon, aka Boom Boom, the Boommeister, the boomster or as is most important for today’s story, the canine radar. He spends our entire walk scanning the horizon in front of us, the woods on either side of the trail and the trail behind us. He twists and he turns, looking and searching for any threat that might disrupt our peace. Bear, deer, squirrels, rabbits, twigs, rustling leaves, bubbling creeks, dancing shadows, spirits from the other worlds, or, most importantly, strange humans.

    By strange, he means any human that is not the two of us.

    The challenge of walking the canine radar is that when he stops and stares, we rarely can see what he sees. Like the boy who cried wolf, he’s the wolf who cried boy. We never know if something is actually near or if he is just hearing voices in his head.

    As we approached the midpoint of our walk, the spot where we u-turn for our trek back to the house, Landon twisted and stared over his shoulder over and over.

    Something was behind us on the trail. He knew it. He warned us.

    We couldn’t see it. Until, of course, we turned to return home.

    Coming around the bend toward us was a human with his canine. Landon triumphantly snorted, “I told you so.”

    Which brings us to the second character of today’s tale, Roscoe. Roscoe P. Coltrane, named after the sheriff of TV lore.

    He also shares a name with the lead character in my novel, Liars Table. The “P” in Roscoe P. Coltrane stands for “Purvis.” There’s a little trivia for you.

    Roscoe believes his reason for existence is to greet every dog on the face of the planet. Enthusiastically.
    We’ve worked hard with him to understand he needs to walk calmly as we pass another dog, not turn into a wiggling, pouncing, wooing maniac at the mere sight of a fellow canine.

    When he succeeds, he receives a treat. He knows that, so he demands the reward the second we pass. If he doesn’t get paid, he pouts. Moving 55 pounds of disgruntled Siberian husky is difficult, so I always cough up the treat.

    After all, he earned it.

    So we turned, Landon snorted his gloat, and Roscoe moved into excited puppy mode. I shortened my grip on his leash, tapped the top of his head as I usually do with my fingers to remind him to behave, and we marched toward the approaching strangers.

    I have Roscoe bouncing and twisting in my right hand and Typhoon in my left. The only importance to this is my hands were no longer free.

    Now let me introduce the final character of today’s tale—A hideous growling beast.

    Each of its long tentacles ended in enormous claws. Its numerous eyes locked vision with mine. Its sharp fangs dripped with saliva. It lunged at me, its massive body blocking out the sunlight.

    I should mention a detail here.

    My glasses are euphemistically referred to as “progressives.” That’s a nice way of saying I am blind and must wear trifocals, though the line between the various magnifications has been smoothed over. Through the top, I focus on long distances. The middle allows me to see at a normal range. The lower section magnifies for close reading.

    What do my glasses have to do with the monster that was in front of me?

    Since we stroll the trails so early every morning, we are blessed to clear the many webs created by spiders overnight, now left dangling from the branches. We can’t see them before we get there, and know they exist only once we walk into their midst. The sticky strands wrap around our bodies, and require a free hand to remove them.

    A free hand I didn’t have, because Typhoon’s leash was in my left, and the ever-so-eager-to-dance Roscoe’s was in my right.

    If it had just been a mesh of spiderweb wrapped around my head, I could have walked a few feet before freeing myself.

    The problem was the bonus that came with it. That snapping, snarling, hideous beast of a spider that dangled in front of my face.

    Or more accurately, in front of my glasses at the lower section, the part that magnifies the vision.

    I had to keep walking because of the other approaching dog and not sweep away the spider now attached to my glasses. Only once we were beyond the other human and his canine. Could I focus—no pun intended—on removing my hitch-hiking, eight-legged friend, who was now busily walking across my lens, each hairy leg looking like the trunk of a tree, thanks to my glasses.

    I loosened my grip on Roscoe and Typhoon’s leash and prepared to evict my visitor.

    I had just one last problem.We had passed another dog. Roscoe expected his treat. Now. He suggested the spider could wait.

    Gratuitous Dog Photo: The Star of the Show

    The story wouldn’t have happened without me

    Roscoe P. takes great pride that today’s Monday Musing wouldn’t have happened without his help. All part of being a working breed.

    Until Next Monday

    Avoid the hidden spiders! Trust me on this one.

    If you have questions or thoughts, drop them in the comments below.

    See you next Monday.


    1. JEAN BURKHARDT on July 17, 2023 at 6:24 am

      I really enjoyed today’s Monday Musings as a video. So nice to hear your voice and and see you. The story was again(as always I think)hilarious! SO what finally happened? Did Roscoe get his treat before said spider was evicted from your glasses?

      By the way-LOVE Roscoe P’s picture!

      • D.K. Wall on July 17, 2023 at 6:30 am

        Egads, no. The spider had to go. Of course, Roscoe would point out that it was smaller than his treat, but that’s besides the point. It LOOKED bigger.

    2. Claudia Williams on July 17, 2023 at 8:45 am

      Loved the video musing. Hearing you tell the tale was as funny as reading it. You told it exactly as I imagined you would. You sounded so calm when the spider was on your glasses. I would have freaked out. lol I like the idea of switching between the two.

    3. Amarok & Co on July 17, 2023 at 9:09 am

      Really enjoyed the video musing with the photos. Fun to hear your voice and see you too. Thanks! I think switching between the two forms is great!

    4. Wynon Ball on July 17, 2023 at 10:35 am

      I enjoyed listening to today’s Musings. You have a natural voice for doing the musings this way. l look forward to them either way you want to do them.

      • Jan Jasa on July 18, 2023 at 3:20 am

        Awesome to see the video! But the fact that you can remain so calm while explaining about the spider, or that during the time it was happening you remained calm, is mind boggling to me. I would have immediately started screaming and flung my glasses off my face! Kudos to your calmness!!

    5. Rachel Churchill on July 17, 2023 at 11:29 am

      I enjoyed the video. Video or written, I will enjoy it either way.

    6. mary michaud on July 17, 2023 at 11:54 am

      I enjoyed hearing you tell the story about that horrible incident, also enjoy reading your stories. You have a wonderful voice for storytelling, very relaxing. Your stories are interesting and amusing whether written or voiced

    7. chris on July 17, 2023 at 2:09 pm

      Sorry but my internet does not support watching videos. Too bad because I really look forward to your writings.

    8. Debbie & Miss Ruby on July 17, 2023 at 3:00 pm

      I enjoyed the musing via video today. It was just as amusing as the usual written ones. Either way please keep them coming. Being an early walker also, the webs in the face sure are annoying.

      • Fay Bach on July 17, 2023 at 3:55 pm

        Hi! I certainly enjoyed today’s musings! (As usual, I might add), and it was nice to see you & hear your calming voice. The short story was amusing and
        interesting! I actually hate spiders, and always have,
        But you made them sound harmless, and annoying!
        Poor things have to live , too, and spin their intricate
        webs! Love your dogs too! Enjoy your walks!
        Looking forward to next weeks musings, either way is great! You

    9. Ann Foose on July 17, 2023 at 3:51 pm

      I really enjoyed listening to you narrate the musing, of course I always enjoy reading them, too. I also enjoyed the photos of the herd, but I happen to like spiders and was concerned that this story might have an unhappy ending for this one, was relieved when it apparently survived.

    10. Lilian on July 17, 2023 at 5:07 pm

      Fabulous HuDdad, it’s the one before the audiobook (haha)
      …and almost 14 years after following you, we can finally meet you! And like every day, you stole a smile from us! Thank you!

    11. Terry G on July 17, 2023 at 6:24 pm

      Love the audio version of Monday musing!
      I’m getting rather blind,too- so audio was a pleasant change from the squinting!! Haha
      I just don’t know how you can be so calm while describing the attack of the hideous monster 😮
      Glad Roscoe got his well earned bribes, er- rewards!
      Thanks for the fun:)

      • Vicki Renai on July 17, 2023 at 6:52 pm

        Loved it, especially with the addition of the photos of your beautiful Sibes.

    12. HokiePack on July 18, 2023 at 9:13 am

      Loved the audio version! Adding pictures of the characters and the description is a keeper !
      I would have dropped the leash and ran screaming from the monster!!

    13. Carolyn Codding on July 18, 2023 at 1:04 pm

      Thoroughly enjoyed the audio.
      I look forward to Monday morning and reading your musing while I enjoy my coffee.

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