“As the Lodge Turns” Episode 21: The Lodge Ranger

 On this episode of “As the Lodge Turns”…

“Bing! Over here!”

Max and Lucy bark at me from behind the picnic table in the yard. On warm days like this one we prefer to lounge around in the shade, but I can smell a change in the weather on the breeze!

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“Hey guys,” I say, flopping to the ground.

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“Watch the tail!” Max yelps, shifting away from me. “Don’t tell me you think you’re a Lodge Princess now, too.”

Scarlett still prefers to keep to herself, but since the Lodge Princess Competition she’s been a little friendlier to other dogs. She’ll answer now if we talk to her – well, almost all of us. Max hasn’t received an official pardon yet for his crimes…

“Who does she think she is? Ignoring me! Me, when I’ve been nothing but nice to her,” Max whines, his tail wagging lazily.

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“You were the one who called her Princess of La-La Land,” Lucy says with an innocent smile.

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“Did I say that? Something so clever?” Max asks with a cocky grin, rolling onto his back and kicking at the air with his hind legs.

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“Maybe you should apologize,” I say, pawing at his exposed stomach.

“Why? I warmed the crowd up for her –”

We’re startled by the sound of snarling from across the yard. Two of the younger dogs are playing together, but their game seems to be getting a little rough. Their posture is stiff and one keeps going after the other with quick, mean bites.

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“This could get ugly fast,” Max says, springing to his feet.

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I know I should try to help, but my body freezes on me. Looking around, I see the other dogs watching, just as powerless as I am.

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What can I do…?

“HEY! Break it up, you two, break it up!”

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Out of nowhere a giant dog with a tan, curly coat leaps between them. With an air of total confidence he manages to break the tension between them, and the snarls dissipate as the two dogs fall to the ground.

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“Your playing was too rough. Separate for a while and cool off, or I’ll come break you two up again! Do you understand?”

The two younger dogs slowly leave for opposite sides of the yard, and the mysterious peacekeeper heads towards the pool.

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That was amazing…he broke up their fight instantly! They must really respect him…

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“Bing, you’re drooling,” Max says with a laughing bark, and I suddenly realize I’ve had my mouth wide open since the fight broke out.

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“I know how you feel, Bing. He really is handsome,” Lucy says, staring after him as if he’s a strip of bacon.

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Max groans loudly, shaking his head. “Not you too, Lucy. I thought you were better than that! The guy has enough groupies…”

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Lucy nips at his shoulder. “I’m not a groupie, I just think he’s cool. He’s a real gentleman.”

“Who is he?” I ask, only mildly concerned that Lucy likes him so much.

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“The Lodge Ranger!” Lucy says, her dark eyes gleaming with admiration.

“Ha! His name’s Biscuit,” Max says with a snort. “But he is sort of a keeper of law and order here at the Lodge.”

Biscuit, no, the Lodge Ranger! Effortlessly cool and collected, admired by all dogs, a protector of justice and truth! He’s like a superhero…

I could never be so incredible, not in a million years.

“I wish I knew his secret…then I could do amazing things like that,” I say, head hanging low.

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“You want to preserve law and order?”

My eyes widen. That voice…could it be?!

Biscuit stands before me with a serene expression on his curly face. My tongue suddenly feels heavy and for a moment I’m speechless!

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“Y-Yes,” I stammer, trying to match his confident tone.

“Then I will show you what it means to be such a dog. Follow me.”

What have I gotten myself into now?

…to be continued…