Today Rooki and I were walking on a trail. Though it was only about 70 degrees, we were both hot. I had my hat tucked under my arm. At one point I dropped it. I said to Roo, "Huh. Look at that, Little Big Bear. I dropped my hat." Since she likes carrying my hat so much, I was hoping she might pick it up and hand it to me. She just looked at me like I had two heads. I picked it up and tucked it back under my arm and we kept walking.
Roo enjoys carrying stuff around. She sees it as part of the pack haul, so carrying something that I carry is a sign of being included in the pack and esteemed in it. There was nothing much on the trail, no bunnies or squirrels, no mice or voles, so she came over to me with a big smile. She wanted me to read her mind, which she assumes I can do. She was right. I knew what she wanted. She wanted to carry the hat. I didn't let her. She's constantly asking to carry the hat, and when I give it to her she just gets distracted in a second and drops it on her way into the brush. So, about half the time I don't give it to her. She doesn't mind. She returns to her main job, which is ruling the forest with an iron paw.
A minute later, the hat slipped out from under my arm again. This time, the Kahoo zipped over and pounced on it. She picked it up and trotted off, giving me one backward glance that was just a little too waggy. A little too enthusiastic.
She went straight to a dense bramble and squeezed her way into it with the hat. I thought she might have spotted a bunny to chase, and wanted to see where she went so that I could pick up the hat. She usually drops it as soon as she she takes off.
It was a few steps up the trail, and when I got there, Rooki was standing in the thicket, wagging her tail, waiting for me. Grinning. She knew quite well that I couldn't follow her into that thorny maze. The Viet Kong wouldn't have been able to get through it. After she savored what must have been my very entertaining expression, she turned nonchalantly and went a little deeper yet into the bramble, crawling the last few feet to a particularly unreachable spot between some mossy old fallen trees. She dropped the hat, and wagging - wagging to beat the band, just delighted - she started digging a hole.
"Oh, come on, Rooki! You're kidding me!" I said. She was only about 15 feet away. It might as well have been a mile through lava. She knew it, too.
She buried my hat. She buried my hat and she couldn't have been more pleased with herself. Archaeologists might find it one day when the region has turned into a desert, but for now, it is gone.
That's what I get for daring to deny The Queen of the Forest even the slightest of her whims.
When Roo Kahoo plays, she plays for keeps.