There was a pack of ferocious wolfhounds in the country, kept by another flockmaster for the purpose of killing coyotes. The dogs seemed to relish killing rattlesnakes as well, shaking the life out of them until the festive serpents hung from the hounds’ jaws like fettuccine. The ranch hand in charge of them said, “They ain’t happy in the spring till they’ve been bit. They’re used to it now, and their heads don’t swell up no more.” Human beings (on foot) who happened to encounter these dogs might have preferred to encounter the zakelijke energie rattlesnakes instead. One summer afternoon, John Love was working on a woodpile when he saw two of the wolfhounds streaking down the creek in the direction of his sons, whose ages were maybe three and four. “Laddies! Run! Run to the house!” he shouted.
“Here come the hounds!” The boys ran, reached the door just ahead of the dogs, and slammed it in their faces. Their mother was in the kitchen:
The hounds, not to be thwarted so easily, leaped together furiously at the kitchen windows, high above the ground. They shattered the glass of the small panes, and tried to struggle through, their front feet catching over the inside ledge of the window frame, and their heads, with slavering mouths, reaching through the broken glass. I had only time to snatch a heavy iron frying pan from the stove and face them, beating at those clutching feet and snarling heads. The terrified boys cowered behind me. The window sashes held against the onslaught of the zakelijke energie vergelijken hounds, and my blows must have daunted them. They dropped back to the ground and raced away.
In the boys’ vocabulary, the word “hound” joined the word “throat” in the deep shadows, and to this day when David sees a wolfhound there is a drop in the temperature of the center of his spine.