Saturday, November 19, 2016

The Diminished Tyger Linn

One thing I discovered once I moved into the woods is Nature doesn’t give a damn about anyone. I vowed to live in peace with the natural world and a couple of years after I was here a massive tree fell on my house. I vowed not to kill venomous snakes and that worked out fine until Lucas got zapped. Greyson Charlotte has been tagged once and Tyger Linn has been bitten three times this year alone. Tyger Linn goes looking for trouble out in the back acre and she’s found it on more than a few occasions. I suspect when she got outside the fenced in world she got a very good look at who is looking in from the outside, and why the fence is there.

If you follow American football at all, you know who Cam Newton is, or who he was, but last year he was being described as the best athlete to ever play the game and like to break records and rewrite the book on how the game is played. Unfortunately, Newton began to believe the hype and in the Super Bowl, he was hit hard, early, and often, by a defense who suspected that Newton’s team was a one-man show. Newton crumbled under the pressure and this year his team is in dead last place and the show is pretty much over.

Tyger Linn set up her own fiefdom in the back acre terrorizing snakes, squirrels and other small mammals, but once she slipped into the natural world outside the fence I think she discovered, much like I did, that Nature doesn’t give a damn about anyone.

I have no idea where Tyger Linn and Lilith Anne went when they got out, but I do know they spent the entire time in the wild. That’s three nights in Coyote Country and there had to be some sort of inter action between the two domesticated canines and their wild relatives. I’m also pretty sure they have already met, through scent, vocalizations, and maybe even by sight, but there was always that fence. Now, out in the open and without anyone else around, they meet in the wild. Tyger came home with a lot of scratches but no bite marks so I’m pretty sure she and the Coyotes didn’t tangle. Yet there had to be some sort of “Oh Hai” moment where both Tyger and Lilith realized they were not in Kansas anymore.

I am lucky to have them back and I know it.

The real issue out there is we’re in a drought right now and water is hard to find. All the seasonal streams and ponds have gone dry. How those two found any water to drink at all is beyond me and it’s likely they didn’t find very much at all if any. A dog can die in three days without water. I left a bucket of water outside for them if they came back while I was gone and when I did get home and found them both here, I’m pretty sure that bucket of water was something they camped out with until my return.

Now they are both home and both safe again. Lilith shows no signs of trauma, other than the scars from the myriad of ticks I pulled off of her. After I gave them all medication to kill ticks I found dead ticks everywhere in the house. But Tyger Linn took some damage out there. The physical part of it, the rash, the scratches, the dehydration and hunger, all of that has disappeared in the last two weeks. But Tyger Linn, resident huntress of Hickory Head, has had her bell rung; she is not the same dog that left here.

Before the Great Adventure, Tyger would run at top speed through the woods in the back acre in front of me, darting in and out and around the trees, Lady of the Land, scaring the tree rats and seeking out new prey. Now she runs out in front of me, but never out of sight or very far. She stays closer to Lilith now and Tyger Linn, always the last one out of the woods, is now the first one back to the door. Once Tyger raced the Cousins to the door to get out and now she waits for Lilith to get up and move. Whatever happened out there, Tyger Linn has decided that Lilith is the One True Goddess and it shows.

Yesterday I was petting Tyger and Lilith came up and simply pushed her out of the way. Tyger retreated and just sat there looking hurt instead of pushing back. That’s never happened. Tyger has never backed down from any dog at any size at any time, and that’s been a real issue. Tyger isn’t overly aggressive but she has always been assertive. I’ve never seen her get pushed without pushing back, hard.

When the two came home both seemed very sore, likely from sleeping on the hard ground for so long, and they both seemed stunned and traumatized. Lilith has come back from that but Tyger Linn still seems a little freaked out. Tyger would sleep on the bed with me but she never had to have full body contact and now she does. She gets up in the night to reposition herself closer to me if I have moved. She nudges my face with her head more often than she did before, as if she needs me to reassure her that everything is okay.

Like the football player who discovers he isn’t all that, Tyger Linn has discovered nature doesn’t give a damn if Tyger rules the world on the inside of the fence. Outside the fence, Nature runs wild and savage and once again, I’m lucky to have them both back at home with me. But Tyger Linn’s attitude is still out there in the woods somewhere. Her poise is gone now, and she realizes that the fence is there not just to keep her in, but to keep a lot of things out.

Take Care,

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The Body Ver 1.0

What most people don’t realize about my story is it ends right where it began and there isn’t another word to it at all. One night, on November 13th, 2016, I woke up to find a body in the middle of my bedroom floor. I didn’t know it at the time, but it was David “Dutch” Percy, a man who had disappeared in 1998 from Salt Lake City Utah. He had been beaten to death with a blunt instrument of some sort, baseball bat from what the autopsy showed, and to be honest with you, I never really got a good look at him. I turned on the light, saw a body on my floor, got dressed, and got the hell out of the house.
Of course, anytime anyone has anybody dead in their home, there’s a reasonable amount of suspicion as to how that person came to be dead and on the floor of the bedroom, so I spent a night in jail. But even though Mr. Percy had been beaten to death, horribly, there was no blood in my home except on the floor where he lay. There was no blood on me, except where I stepped in it, and there was no splatter marks, no baseball bat, no blood in my truck, and for that matter, remarkably little blood anywhere but on the floor, where there was a lot of blood. Mr. Percy, wherever he had met misfortune, was still somewhat alive when the cops got there but died very soon after.

The last time anyone heard from Dutch Percy it was a cold day in Salt Lake City. He had just finished eating dinner with his family; they had spaghetti with meatballs and a salad. He told his wife and four kids that he would go get some popcorn and they would watch a movie on the television and he walked out of their house and landed in the middle of my bedroom floor eighteen years later and beaten to death.

I was a very likely suspect except there was no reason for me to have killed someone who had been missing for eighteen years, there was no murder weapon, and the murder couldn’t have happened at my house, or for that matter, anywhere near where I lived. None of that really mattered to anyone in law enforcement because dead guy on your floor pretty much means you did it. Yet things began to get awfully strange awfully quick, I mean, other than the dead guy on the floor thing, which was not to be topped, and they fished out Percy’s ID and went through his pockets. There was a hundred dollars in twenties and tens and ones, none of them newer than 1998. There was a pocketful of change and none of it was newer than 1998. They contacted his family, his wife had died a few years ago but his kids never stopped looking for him, and the description of what he was wearing when he left matched the clothes he died in. And the autopsy revealed that his last meal, eaten within a few minutes of death, was spaghetti with meatballs, and a salad.

About ten FBI agents got together at a table and were discussing the lead theory, which was that I had killed Dutch Percy, and they decided just to ignore all the weird stuff and concentrate on the evidence. I was staying with a friend as they tore my house apart and the more they looked the less they found. Then there was the fact that Dutch Percy was six-three, 220 pounds, and thirty-five years old and had played football in High School and was an avid hiker. I’m sixty and weigh 170 and can bench press a French Poodle on my best days. Then they went to my place, had one of the agents lay on a tarp covered in water with a dye in it that showed up under black light. And try at they might, it always took four guys to get a body in without getting any of the dye on something. And it took some practice, a lot of practice, to finally get it right.  They got together at another meeting and one of them said, “Hey, screw it, everyone empty your pockets right now.” And so all ten of them dumped their change and bills and not one of them had nothing but old money in their pockets. So they’re all sitting there with this money in front of them and right then and there the FBI decided that as odd as it might look, it was not only likely that I had not murdered Dutch Percy, it was almost a certainty that I hadn’t been there, and he hadn’t been in my home, when the attack occurred.
 They didn’t offer an explanation. Of course, they didn’t have to either, because the internet came to life on this story and the theories, as wild as they were, never quite matched the fact of the truth.

And yes, I did cash in, why wouldn’t I? I went on every talk show that would pay me, met the Percy family, who thought for a long time that I did have something to do with it, but in the end, one of the FBI agents, Rodney Parker, retired and went with me on tour. He said however Mr. Percy came to be where he was, I hadn’t left my house that night. The exhaust pipe on my truck was cold. My cell records were as predictable as the sunrise. The internet sites I visited and my email were deadly boring. Other than the fact there was a dead body in my house there was nothing at all to tie me to a murder that seemed to have happened somewhere else, and the body was taken, somehow, to my house. I had to hand it to Parker. He never flinched. No matter who asked him or how they asked him he always said the same thing, “We honestly have no idea at all what happened.”
Neither did I.

I told you in the beginning this was how it ended. And so it does. If you were looking for anything else, after all these years, I still have no idea what happened.