The wind is howling. The rain is slashing down. Lightning and thunder flash and rumble in the distance. The tree leaves seem to be changing from green to yellow to red simultaneously. They fall and block sewer grates, leaving rivulets of rainwater in the street. Almost every lawn in the neighborhood is decorated with orange pumpkins, streaming spider webs, and multicolored blow-up spooks, bouncing back-and-forth and up-and-down in the violent hurricane breezes.
Autumn is here in all its power and glory. And my silhouette dogs have fallen into the mud.
But what a year those dogs have had! While our real canine, the magnificent Cooper, could do nothing to keep the geese off our driveway and its surroundings, our two cardboard cutouts, Cerebrus One and Cerebrus Two, were ever vigilant, creating an invincible shield. Day and night they rotated on their stakes, rocking and bobbing, and convincing the neighborhood geese that to defy them would be to cross through the gates of hell. As it turned out, no honking, squawking, fouling fowl was willing to risk its mortal soul. And now the geese have left for their winter lodgings.
After I picked Cerebrus One and Cerebrus Two from the mud I stored them inside our garage. Perhaps Barb and I will paint ghoulish grins on them and set them up on the ground near our front door so they can haunt our local trick-or-treaters. Or maybe we will set a witch astride one of them to complete the hellhound look. Or maybe we will just let them sit out the rest of the season, warm and dry beneath the garage heater.
One thing is for certain. Come the spring, my laminated pups will be back on patrol, rockin’ and rollin’ for all the neighbors, and keeping the geese at bay. They are our champions.
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