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July 6, 2012 / Ronald Chapman


On a hike when Lucy was just a gangly puppy, she had romped away. Pitcairn saw her a hundred yards of so in the distance on the side of a slope, her stubbed tail waggling at the pack of coyotes that were slowly encircling her. He called, and fortunately she bolted back to him through the closing gap of the predators before what would have been an ugly outcome. Now matured, she had no love of the creatures.

He closed the door to prevent any problems then stretched as he became aware of what was becoming a routine on awakening, a sense of dread. Breathing deeply to try to get some release of the feeling, a single word popped into his mind … innocent.

Pitcairn rolled the thought around in his mind. Lucy’s actions with the coyotes as a puppy were perfectly innocent. So was her defensive response a moment ago. She only did what was appropriate to time, place and circumstance. So too with the coyotes. He took a long, slow breath as the implications of the epiphany rushed into him. So too with Daniel Davidson. And me. And Mom. Unexpected, a memory of the broadcast of the second plane crashing into the World Trade Center rushed into his consciousness. Even the terrorists were acting out of what they believed to be their highest good … honoring their God through the deaths of infidels.

“Crap,” he muttered to himself as he flashed to a line Clint had used on more than a few occasions. “You’re innocent, son. And so are the all the rest of those bastards.”


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