It started when I heard a voice calling from the front yard of our farm.
“Big Dope, get out here, make them quit!”
Intrigued, I wandered out onto the porch. That’s when I saw it. “What the … ?
“Let my tongue be equal to the task,” as the Great Communicator said when he first met Stormy Daniels.
Imagine, if you will, how you would expect the literary character of Ichabod Crane to appear, all super-skinny six feet of him. Imagine him wearing a brown military uniform, a ‘you know what’ cap sitting squarely on his head with a flowing peacock feather tucked into a fold.
That’s what I saw.
The legs of the uniform extended down into a pair of paratrooper-like boots, polished to a bright sheen. Dozens of medals festooned his chest. He turned to kick at one of my wife’s dogs and I saw the letters GLSF across the back of his uniform.
“What the … ?”
“Make them quit,” he said. The face was a sharp collection of angles proceeded by a chiseled chin. Both hands rested on assault-type rifle strapped securely to him. I found out later that it was a fake, no surprise there.
At the time, though, I could just stare and barely speak. “C.W.?”
“Great Leader Special Forces Trooper GA-20189,” the apparition said.
“What the … ?”
Four of my wife’s “rescue dogs” stood around him. Another two, those with physical disabilities lay near a fence, an audience.
“What the … ?”
“I’ve been chosen,” the figure said. He kicked at one of the dogs with a shining boot. “Chosen by Great Leader himself, and now they won’t let me practice.” He kicked again. “Make them stop.”
“Great leader has chosen one alien visitor, those with exceptional qualifications, for each regiment.” He made a shooing gesture. “I need to practice, but they won’t let me.”
“They are my wife’s dogs. You need to talk to her.”
“I did already.”
“What did she say?”
“She just laughed and slammed the door.”
I had no trouble imagining that. “What are you practicing for?”
“The ‘Make America Feared Again Parade.’ Perhaps you’ve heard about it.”
“I have indeed,” I said. “I thought it was supposed to be a military parade, with actual military uniforms.”
He indicated his outfit with a flourish. “What do you think this is, a ballet outfit?”
“What I think it is doesn’t matter,” I said. “It’s just that I’ve never seen anything like it.”
“Special forces,” he said.
“Great Leader Special Forces, to be exact. We’re to be his chosen bodyguards. Our units will march last in the parade to let people around the world see how serious we are.”
“Here in a once-again great America.”
“I see. So, what is your problem?”
“I need to practice our regimental march, and they keep interrupting me.” He motioned at the dogs gathered ‘round him.
“Hold my piece and watch this,” he said. He unbuttoned the rifle strap and handed the gun to me. As I watched, he punched a pocket device and martial music erupted, a stirring tune. He told me later it was entitled ‘Blessed Leader over all us,’ and had been composed especially for the upcoming parade.
Anyway, he jogged to the edge of the yard, came to attention, did a sharp “About Face” and began what was intended to be a goose-step march. As he passed me, one leg shot more or less straight out, then another. He did an “Eyes Right,” whipped a salute and returned to marching position. At the end of the yard, he did a “To the Rear,” and started back. He was getting better.
That’s when it happened.
In unison, the four dogs—Calvin, Cassie, Penny, and Judy Kate, the attorney-dog—raced to a spot behind him, formed a line, got in step with the music, and then, … . Excuse me for a moment.
And then, their little legs began to shoot directly out, two at a time, in a perfect imitation of Great Leader Special Forces Trooper GA-20189. To this day, I don’t know how they did it, but oh my. Here they all came, strutting across the yard.
|Wait until you see our sister regiment.|
Great Leader calls them
"My Little Trooperettes." - C.W..
“See what I mean?” he said. “How can we have the most wonderful, the largest, the most admired, the most impressive, and the most watched parade in the world’s history if even dogs are going to make fun of us?”
I wiped a tear, “I don’t know,” I said as another wave of laughter rolled over me. “I just don’t know.”
I couldn’t swear to this, for the tears interrupted my vision, but I do think I saw the two non-participating dogs clapping their little paws, in unison.
And, of course, you’ll never believe that the other four took bows.