Barking Up The Wrong Tree

barking up the wrong treeRrggrrrr. I could hear the guttural growling coming from behind me as I sprinted down the deserted gravel road towards my house.

What have I done to provoke this chase? Nothing! I haven’t done anything at all! So what’s going on, why was I chosen as the target when there were at least six other young men who’s capture would prove more worthy of the time and effort this animal was putting in.

I can hear him gaining on me, panting like the stupid dog that he is. Man, what an idiotic creature. Doesn’t he know I have nothing for him? I don’t bring a lunch to work because I have to go home to the wife during my much too short lunch break. The other men sat there with sandwiches, Tupperware containers filled with leftovers from the previous night, freshly baked desserts you could smell from a mile away, and yet this dumb dog chose to come after me—the only man with nothing to give.

He’s gaining on me. I see a tree not too far off, and I figure I can climb up there and hide until he loses interest and saunters away to scavenge the deserted lunching grounds for scraps of food the other men left behind.

I manage to fumble my way into the tree, and the dog circles the trunk growling and barking—as if that will do anything at all. He stares me down like I’m the enemy. I can’t help but yell down to him.

“What are you looking at, you stupid dog? I have nothing for you!”

My screams are met with an unsettlingly deep and constant growl. He doesn’t look as if he’ll be giving up any time soon. I try a new approach: reason.

“If I had any food, don’t you think I would’ve given it to you long ago? It doesn’t make sense for me to run for this long and sit in this tree when I could easily escape by giving you whatever food I was hoarding. But I haven’t got any food with me. I swear.”

The growling continues and he snarls, showing me his surprisingly sharp teeth. Other than his flaring nostrils, he shows no signs of exhaustion. Clearly reason means nothing to a beast like this.

Both physically and emotionally exhausted, I cry out, “I can’t give you what you want! I have nothing. Please! You’re making a mistake—you’re barking up the wrong tree!”

My words have no effect on the snarling, growling, foaming-at-the-mouth beast that just won’t quit. I try to settle back into the web of branches. It looks like I’ll be up here for quite some time.

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