“Dogs Bring Home a Bone” / A Memorable Fancy #196

Every evening after dinner, the neighborhood dogs packed together and ran up into the hills for an hour or so. At first, there was some concern they might attack chickens or livestock or people; and then Doc (that’s me) would have to patch them up, except maybe the chickens. But none of that wilding happened that anyone knows.

One day last week the dogs came back early. Rusty, my own dog, proudly carried a bone in his mouth, dropped it at my feet. Picking it up, I recognized it as a human ulna – an arm bone – although misshapen and larger than normal. My panic subsided when I saw that it was weathered, old. How old I couldn’t tell, but clearly our dogs hadn’t killed anyone for it.

The next evening some of us followed the dogs, but they quickly outran us. That night, Rusty brought back a different human bone. And the next night, and the next.

We borrowed a tracking device from a local hunter and got a general idea of where the dogs had gone. But they far outran us again, and returned before we could catch up with them in the dark, on rocky hillsides with no trails.

By late the next week we’d gathered enough bones for parts of four legs and four arms. They sure looked like they’d come from the same body. But how could that be?

 

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