I recognize that this is a strange title for a story. I also recognize that Eagles don’t have ears.
But in all fairness, “IF” I was to title this story accurately then it might be even more confusing.
Or maybe disturbing, I don’t know.
I guess I need to explain.
It’s no secret that “Doc” The World-Famous Black Lab and I go everywhere together.
It makes my heart happy.
The fact of the matter is that he has signed more books than I have and that makes me happy too.
But the other day, I think I may have bested him, at least in the hearing department.
We all know and have heard the stories of dogs hearing and how they can hear just about anything.
Believe me, “Doc’s” hearing saved me many times in Tennessee Taliban land, and he hasn’t lost a single step in that department over the years, I assure you.
I will be the first to acknowledge that most people my age either wear glasses or have hearing aids or both, but not me. Just lucky in that regard I guess.
But that aside, “Doc” and I went into one of the local Dollar General Stores recently to pick up something or another, it might have been toilet paper for the next stage of the Kung Fu Flu. What’s that thing called again Alpha Gama Delta Epsilon? No wait, maybe that’s a sorority, whatever, you get the point.
But as “Doc” and I strolled down the aisle towards the Charmin, we both saw 98-year-old Miss Calhoun adjusting her glasses looking at cans of pinto beans on the shelf. She is a lovely woman that I met in church and although she can’t carry a tune in a bucket, she still drives herself, ever so slowly, to church and to the Dollar General Store for groceries.
Although she is only about five feet tall, she always looks immaculate with a nice hat atop her perfectly coiffed white hair to cover her hearing aids and wearing her glitter signature encrusted glasses.
I have had doubts setting close to her in church about the actual functionality of her hearing aids.
I say that not out of disrespect, not in the least. I make that statement because she carries on conversations and sings with a REALLY loud voice. So, with that in mind, and not to startle Miss Calhoun, I gently tapped her shoulder.
When she turned around, she smiled broadly and said, “WELL, HEY MIKE! HI THERE DOC!”
I asked how she was doing as Doc began sniffing the lower shelves apparently doing his own grocery shopping and showing a great interest in the boxes of Animal Crackers.
Miss Calhoun said,
“I AM FINE, JUST OUT DOING SOME SHOPPING AND PICKING UP A FEW THINGS!”
Then she added,
“IT SURE IS GOOD TO SEE YOU AND DOC, IT LOOKS LIKE HE WANTS SOME COOKIES!”
I reminded her that “IF” she ever needed anything or couldn’t get out that she could always call me, and “Doc” and I would pick it up and run it by her house.
“I SURE APPRECIATE THAT I WILL CALL YOU AND DOC IF I EVER NEED ANYTHING!”
We chit chatted back and fourth for a few minutes, well, I chatted, while she shouted.
But it didn’t bother “Doc” and I and the other customers didn’t mind either.
Everybody loves Miss Calhoun, as we say here in my South, she is sweet as she can be.
“Doc” had completed his rounds of checking the aisles in the store for potential terrorists and returned with something that resembled a squeaky toy in his mouth as his tail wagged at a hundred miles an hour. It was if his face was asking,
“Daddy can I have it? Please?”
I said aloud,
“You can have it Doc, but I will need to take away from you for a minute when we check out”
I also added….
“But NO Animal Crackers, this time. I mean it.”
EDITORS NOTE: I am a horrible parent
He seemed pleased with my answer and went back to sniffing the Animal Crackers near Miss Calhoun.
Then it happened.
Sweet little Miss Calhoun said,
“I HAVEN’T EVEN RUBBED DOC’S HEAD YET, WHERE ARE MY MANNERS!”
She slowly bent over to rub Doc’s head and ears and It was then that I heard it.
In all fairness I couldn’t have missed it.
But it wasn’t loud, no, it sounded like well, like a slow leak from a balloon that a kid was playing with at a children’s birthday party.
That’s right, you guessed it.
Sweet little Miss Calhoun just ripped one when she bent over to rub Doc’s head.
In the annals, sorry for the pun, of Olympic Farting competition I considered the length of the flatulence to be something of a record for any age group. Although certainly not “officially timed”, as they say, it was however nonetheless by conservative estimates to be nearly twenty seconds in length.
Impressive to say the very least.
EDITORS NOTE: Just for the record, it was just a sounder not a stinker. Just so you know.
You want to know something else?
“Doc” never cocked his head or gave a disproving look towards Miss Calhoun.
He just stood there getting his back scratched by her painted fingernails.
I thought, for a brief moment, “What the hell Doc, you cock your head and will occasionally bark at me when I break wind, hell, you have even blamed your farts on me more than one or a dozen times over the years.”
That’s when it hit me, “Doc” didn’t hear it.
Well, how about that. I heard something he didn’t it.
Miss Calhoun finished scratching “Doc’s” back, and we said our collective “See you later” and “Call me if you need anything” and I proudly went to the checkout counter with “Doc” in tow to pay for the Charmin, a box of Animal Crackers and his new squeaky toy.
EDITORS NOTE: Don’t judge me you knew I was going to buy those Animal Crackers for him.
After “Doc” and I jumped into the pickup truck I couldn’t help myself, so I said to him,
“How about that big boy, I heard Miss Calhoun rip one and you didn’t even blink an eye.”
Unimpressed with my newfound superpower “Doc” just grabbed his new squeaky toy from the bag and settled into the passenger seat and began chewing his squeaky toy, that ironically sounded eerily similar to Miss Calhoun’s Olympic wind breaking record.
Never mind, the squeaky toy was too high pitched, but you get the gest of it.
As we pulled out of the parking lot, it occurred to me, that maybe “Doc” did in fact hear it, he is just too much a gentleman to cock his head and bark at a lady for cutting a long one loose, even as impressive as it was.
So, I reached over and rubbed my hand along his back and said, “You’re such a good boy, Doc”
He looked at me with a knowing look that said, “Yeah, I know Daddy.”
So, I titled this story “Ears of an Eagle” instead of something worse, like…..
“Senior Flatulence Detector”
I thought that may sound like the name of a new Sherlock Holmes movie.