Today is my beloved daughter Jennifer’s birthday. As my special gift to her I like to tell a certain story on this day every year. It’s a Dad thing. So. I’m in the Army, stationed at Ft. Ord. We’re living in base housing. Jenn is 4 years old. A 3 foot tall, blonde little bundle of cuteness and joy. We also have a yellow tiger stripe cat named Rowdy. He was called that because he was most assuredly NOT a little bundle of cuteness and joy. That’s called foreshadowing right there.
See more I don’t always listen to my papa but when I do we always get in trouble shirt
Linda and I are spending the evening sitting on the couch in front of the TV. Just enjoying life. My attention is caught by a soft sound. I stop and listen more carefully because hey, I’m a soldier and it could be Ninjas. It could always be Ninjas. That’s a tip kids, write it down. There it was again. A kind of strangled mewling sound. Like something is in a really uncomfortable situation but either cannot voice it’s full displeasure or for some reason is trying not to draw attention to itself. Meh. I mean, we’re in our home in the middle of an Army base. How dangerous could it be? Plus I’m tired and kinda lazy so, whatever.
But the sound persists. It even starts to increase, not in volume but definitely in intensity. It’s plain now that someone or something is in some kind of distress. Well crap, now I have to go see. So Linda and I get up and head to Jenn’s bedroom. As we turn the corner into the hall we witness something I to this day can’t quite fathom. Coming down the hallway is our precious child but she’s dragging something along the floor. Something stuck in one of her mother’s stockings slung over her shoulder. Something quite unhappy. Is that…? Could that be…? Is it possible…? Is that the…?