The pig is moving through the python again. Or, rather, the pig has moved through the python, and the snake now appears to be fasting.
After many days of fetching cardboard boxes, packing boxes, stacking boxes, the humanoids have settled down to calmer routines. But what a difference it makes to the sounds and smells of this house!
Lily and I didn’t know what to make of it. For weeks everything was in turmoil as more and more boxes were packed and piled in the dining room, then in the hallway, then in the kitchen. For one day we all went through absolute frenzy, as strangers came to our home, left the door ajar, and carried all the boxes out to a waiting truck.
But that was not all. Not only did the boxes go, but beds, loveseats, armchairs, desks, wardrobes, end tables, coffee tables, book cases, hutches, and the television from the basement that no one seemed to watch anyway. All gone, along with photographs, art work, tool boxes, and clothes clothes clothes clothes.
Lily and I supervised, of course. We took up our positions in the middle of the doorway and at the top of the stairs. The strangers stepped over us while they carried more boxes downstairs. Then it was time to move heavy furniture and so Sunshine and the Pup were told to keep us in the kitchen, where they barricaded us behind a wall of upturned chairs.
And suddenly it was over. The big truck pulled away. The Pup, Sporty and Sunshine were picked up and driven to we knew not where. Alpha and The Mom got into their vehicles and headed down the road. And Lily and I were left alone in a half-empty house.
There wasn’t even a sofa left for me to jump up on so I could watch out the window to see when they might return. Just Lily and me, alone in a house where our claws click on the hardwood floors and the dust bunnies eddy out of the corners where they had hidden behind furniture that is no longer there.
Lily, I’ve been here before. I know this room, I’ve walked this floor. I used to live alone before I knew you.
We had a moment of panic, I don’t mind telling you. We wondered whether they had left us behind by mistake. Was part of the plan for us to climb into the big truck to guide the driver to wherever he was taking the boxes?
We had several hours to contemplate this possibility, and as the afternoon wore on, we wondered whether the strangers had also loaded the dog food into the van. But just as the twilight was coming on, Alpha and the Pup returned.
The next day, the mystery of the missing furniture was solved. Alpha loaded us, along with a couple of remaining boxes, into the van and drove us out to the place he and The Mom have been talking about for a couple of months now. They call it Kemptville, and it seems very much like our own neighbourhood, but with a greenbelt.
There’s a five minute walk to the school and the church in one direction, a five minute walk to the pub in the other. There’s a stream nearby, but no park where the dogs gather in the morning. There’s less traffic on the roads but I haven’t had sufficient time to observe the squirrel and cat situation.
They have brought the furniture and boxes to a house. Lily and I spent hours exploring different rooms and closets, locating familiar scents of familiar objects. All the perfume smells, the estrogen smells.
Lily settled in quickly. When everyone went to bed that night, she found a place near Sporty’s bed and fell fast asleep. I prowled around for several more hours, circling back frequently to the big bedroom make sure that Alpha was still there, exhausted, asleep.
We awoke early, he and I. He dressed in the dark before anyone else was stirring. And we slipped out the door. Lily came down to watch us leave. Alpha asked her whether she wanted to come with us, but she stayed inside with the familiar smells in the unfamiliar places.
And now I live in a space that seems empty and quiet – at times serene. It is still full of the old smells, and the furniture that was here even before The Mom and the girls moved in. There isn’t that much of it. When I stand inside the doorway and bark at passers-by outside on Riverdale, my voice echoes through the house.