Leonard and the dog, Babe, walked the wooded hundred acres behind the house. She caught a scent and lost it within a few yards. The start-stop tracking wore on Leonard. Babe stopped and, for a second, bristled like a porcupine.
It was odd. Treeing Walker Coonhounds are good-natured dogs. Damn fine buddies to lie around and eat bologna sandwiches with when they got old. This dog, his Dad’s dog, wasn’t ready for retirement though she’d never refuse a bologna sandwich.
Last night, his Dad and Babe went hunting. This morning, Babe was on the back porch pawing at the door. Now she was at the edge of a clearing torn between growling and wrapping herself around Leonard’s legs.
The clearing held a metal box he’d never seen before. Rather, the metal frame that hadn’t been driven into the ground was the shape of a box. Glass cracked and popped underfoot as he walked. Leonard shooed the dog back but moved closer.
“LIVE ANIMALS” was printed on one label.
Another read “BIOHAZARD – IN CASE OF DAMAGE, NOTIFY PUBLIC HEALTH OFFICIAL IMMEDIATELY”
Leonard looked around his feet at the flecks of sunlight in the glistening glass and swallowed hard.