All I needed was a quiet walk in the woods to sooth my hyperactive brain. The brisk and sunny air was perfect, and as I entered the forest, I took a deep, rejuvenating breath. The wind was blowing enough to make me look up and watch the treetops sway. The voices in my head were lowered to whispers, and I began to feel peaceful as I headed for the Ridge Walk.
It was at this moment that I spotted animal movement up ahead on the path—the frantic circling of five beagles! They saw me and ran into the woods, barking and howling in harmony.
“Wild beagles? Really? What are you guys doing here? Where’s your human?” I called after them as they scrambled toward the ridge. Then I decided to chime in.
“Houw-houw-houwwwwww,” I cried. They stopped at the top of a hill and turned toward me, and howled right back. I cracked up.
At this point, they had retreated behind a fallen tree and three of them lined up with their front paws on the trunk and howled at me. They looked like a small choir, and their two backup singers barked as they climbed the hill, signaling that it was time to move on. I sent them on their way with a final howl.
(I later learned that the beagles were likely on a rabbit hunt and had strayed onto the Arboretum grounds.)
by Meg Gallagher