One day at the edge of my memory I remember deciding it was a great day for a walk and started up the road to the back of the farm. As normal there where the traditional 20 or so dogs following me. We past the first field and a few dogs went out to sniff and got distracted tracking something. I went and climbed on the first oil pump jack more dogs to board waiting for me to come down and went off to do something else. So I started up the final road to the top of the holler with only a handful of dogs left. At the top of the hill and the final pump jack I ran out of road but I was ready to walk more. I left the road and picked a direction in the woods I had never gone before which confused most of the dogs who thought the final field looked more inviting. Down to a single dog.
I went down into a wooded hollow, across a stream and past a lake that looked to be only 20 years old. That's when I stumbled on the stone runes of an old house. This isn't unusual where I come from since the area walk a full community with mines and railroads 100 years before I was born. However that is gone and so far as I know no one really knows who lived ware. Houses where sold and some where left. Some where just never know about. If you live back in enough woods you can be there a long time, and 100 years before I was born much more so.
I went to searching the house for any sign of anything. By house I mean a pile of rocks in a square shape since the only sign there had been wood there at all was the rich soil that now surrounded the rock structure. Nothing cool left behind. In fact nothing at all. No metal not ceramics not a nail. The place was just gone to time. Move the rocks and the only sign of life left would be my memory of the place.
That is when I heard a dog growl. I looked around for my remaining dog and he was not growling. He was right beside me. Tail tucked. At the edge of perception stood a dog. Large and skinny not like the thousand of dogs I have been raised with but angry with eyes fixed right on me. Then I saw his friend then another then another. I was standing right in the middle of a wild dog pack. There where probable 6 of them but it felt like more. When your standing in the middle of a group who can considering you food it feels like more. I think at least 2 of them used to be tame because they had collars but the others had no sign of having ever seen a person before. I would have likely already been gone if the single dog had not been with me. I am sure I smelled like a dog pack myself but I was quite alone.
The single beagle with me was sticking close and rightly so. The other dogs where quickly forgoing dog courtesy and deciding I did not have a dog army with me. They knew I was off alone and they where deciding quickly they where going to take me from the company of the final dog. They closed in more and one took a nip at my dog. He yelped but before the sound was done escaping from his lips another took a big chomp and threw him away from me. Now I was alone.
The dogs began closing and deciding how to handle the slightly larger pray. I found a stick somewhere but they had decided it was not much of a threat from the kid wielding it. They surrounded me just out of range and tensed to jump.
A scream erupted from the direction of the old house that echoed off the hills. The dirt trembled by the rocks and every dog took scared. I knocked the biggest dog down with a stick and hit him a few times, but i really was to little to hurt it much. It was far more concerned with the sound that it had just heard even though I was much more concerned with the dogs. The dogs looked at each other and the two collared dogs ran away from the house with the others close behind. The biggest dog bringing up the back after ignoring my remaining hits and taking off with his pack.
I went over to my single dog picked him up and started carrying him out of the woods. I didn't get far before he was licking my face to much and I had to sit him down. When we left the woods some of my dogs had returned and by the time I got back to the house at least half where back. Mom told me she was worried about me and was about to come looking for me. "Don't worry about me mom I had the dogs." And went on my way.
I really can't remember where the house was. I would tell you I left it alone intentionally over the years but that would be a lie. If I ever did see it again it looked different enough for me to not recognize it. I didn't even wounder what the sound had been for many years or wounder where it came from. I did however make sure my own dogs stayed closer when going for walks until I had grown a bit more.