Thursday, August 6, 2009

Despite Pending Operation, Sylvia Searches For Gold

“What do you mean ‘no breakfast’? Operation? What operation? Who’s getting an operation, and what has that to do with no breakfast?” The questions came loud and fast from an outraged Sylvia, who shouted from the other side of the screen door.
I kept my cool and answered calmly: “You’re going to have an operation today. That’s why you can’t have breakfast.”
“Already I don’t like the idea of this,” Sylvia said, kicking the already-taped door to show her disapproval.
Ignoring this, I grabbed her leash and said, “We’d better go now or we’ll be late.”
“Go? Where are we going?”
“To Socorro, to the nice Vet.”
“We already went to the nice Vet last week.”
“That was for the diagnosis. Now we’re going for the operation.”
“I don’t think so,” Sylvia said, slinking down the porch steps. “You can go if you want, but I’ll stay here and read the paper.”
“It doesn’t work that way, Sylvia,” I said with a cheerful insincere laugh. “Come on, get in the pickup. You liked the ride last week. You were so good once we got past that little argument about who was going to drive. Once you decided to move from the driver’s seat it was really a nice drive. Remember how much you enjoyed looking at the VLA?”
“That was OK, quite interesting in its way, but I’d still rather not have an operation today, thank you.”
“Come on, Sylvia,” I said, fastening her leash. “If you fuss, you’ll only get upset.”
“I’m upset already. I don’t think it’s fair. I don’t want my body tampered with.”
“But you’ll feel and look ever so much better,” I pointed out. “You’ll be rid of that cyst over your eye and that fatty tumor on your rear and your ear infection.”
“All of that?”
“Yes, all of that at once. And you’ll be asleep. You won’t feel a thing.”
“But then I won’t be in control. I don’t like not being in control.”
“I understand that,” I said. “But maybe you can be in control of something else.”
“Like what?”
“Well, are you just going to give up on finding the gold of the Lost Adams Diggings, especially after you built the wagon and all?”
“I never give up. Never. You, of all people, should know that. It’s a dirty, rotten shame,” Sylvia said with vehemence. “That wagon was built to carry gold and, by Jupiter, it’s going to carry gold.”
“There’s something about the wagon I’ve been meaning to ask: where did you get the wheels?”
“You know that old dumping place behind the house that has a lot of old tobacco cans and stuff.”
“The place with all the snakes?”
“We only saw one, and that one told RingWorm that there was an old rusty children’s toy train near the bottom. We dug it up and appropriated the wheels for our wagon. We had to give the snake a ride, though.”
“That was pretty brave, if not a trifle foolhardy of you,” I said.
“When it comes to gold, we have no fear. And we’ll find it, that’s for sure.”
“That’s the spirit.”
“We’ll find the Lost Adams Diggings yet. Do or die! Well, maybe not that but we’ll do it.” With that, Sylvia held her breath and took a mighty leap into the pickup.
“Good girl,” I said.
Sylvia plopped herself in front of the wheel saying: “Come on, give me the keys and let’s go. Let’s go find the Lost Adams Diggings!”

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