One of the signs of spring in this part of the world is a robin hopping on lawn. But apparently, our Dorothy is not sentimental when it comes to the changing of the seasons. Yesterday, when in the park on a sunny afternoon in the seventies, Dorothy spotted a plump robin doing robin-y things, and went all jungle on us. I wasn’t there to witness this spectacle – alas! – but I’m told that when Dorothy spied the robin over yonder, she moved her body an inch or two lower to the ground and began to stalk the robin, paw over paw, getting closer and closer, like a cartoon predator, until all of a sudden she couldn’t take the suspense and charged at the bird.
It turns out there was one little hitch to her stealthiness, and that was that while doing all the sneaking, she was still in full bulldogge breathing mode—i.e. grunting and snuffling and making a lot of nasal noises. The robin, therefore, was not in any danger of meeting its demise. But the story made me laugh and I can just picture Dorothy getting all Mighty Huntress in the middle of Center City.
I actually sympathize with the robin a bit, being the victim myself of a dog stalking on several occasions. My friend’s Doberman, Manda, used to enjoy a bit of stalking while out in her yard in New Hampshire. Her prey of choice? Humans. I’d be outside admiring the garden when I’d feel the hair rise on my neck and look over and see Manda half a football field away, her eyes locked on me, her legs moving forward in studied slow motion, getting closer and closer and closer. Now Manda was a gentle, friendly beast, so I knew she would never do anything to me. But there is something primal about being stalked that is unsettling, to say the very least. There she’d be: a Doberman lion on the Serengeti; and there I’d be: a gazelle with an unfortunate economy of motion. I was always a little relieved when the game ended and I was still upright.
Dorothy’s mother, I am told, is a stellar frog hunter, so hunting is in Dorothy’s genes. Surprisingly, Dorothy will walk past a pigeon without giving it a second glance though, so there must be something about robins she does not like. Perhaps she’s pro-earthworm?
Dorothy thinking, I didn’t like its beady little eye looking at me.