[dropcap]E[/dropcap]llie Mae paws at the back door, begging to go outside. She wants to chew a pinecone or two, maybe roll in something foul, like the carcass of a dead woodpecker, or perhaps dig a nice hole.
She leaps off the back stoop, and prances through the yard like royalty, high stepping. She’s outside for one minute and forty-two seconds before pawing at the back door.
I let her inside.
Ellie Mae bounds into the kitchen, walks in a small circle, scuffs her butt on the floor, and then stands with her nose pressed against the door.
I let her back outside.
She hops off the porch and rolls onto her back, kicking up sand. This time she’s outside for sixty-three seconds. Just long enough to eat a piece of poop and chase a squirrel.
She scratches on the door, staring through the window at me with sad eyes, ready to come inside.
This is my life.