|Taiko, the Tender Heart, Master Thief.|
Steve had spent the early part of the day slow grilling a whole turkey. Cooking it outside kept the house cool. Periodically across the its time roasting the The White Dog Army would wander out into the heat onto the deck and sniff its progress. The yard smelled of turkey stuffed with apple quarters and marinaded in cider vinegar. They all knew the turkey was going to be chopped up and used for their meals this week, a change of pace from their usual mackerel. We would nibble a little tonight for our meal and I would boil the bones to make soup stock.
Mid day Steve peeked and discovered the bird was roasted to perfection. He lifted the aluminum foil pan it had cooked in off of the grate but decided he would feel safer with a tray beneath the flexible pan as he carried it up the ramp and into the house surrounded by pushy White Dogs. So he set the turkey and pan on the grille's side table and ran in for a tray.
In just the short time it took for him to snag a tray from the cabinet, answer a question Michael had, and return outdoors Taiko (who was the only one outside "guarding" the bird) managed to somehow push the sizzling pan off the grill table onto the ramp and was in the process of trying to figure out how to gobble the hot turkey.
He managed to tear and run off with a wing before Steve's "Stop! Thief!" alerted him that the gig was up. Steve got the bird on the tray and into the house, with all of the other White Dogs jumping up to demand THEIR share of the take.
Then he went back into the yard and chased down his boy. Of course, the turkey wing was long gone; that was not Steve's concern. He calmed the cowering Bad Boy and checked to make sure that our Tender Heart had not burned his paw, body or mouth with his foolish gluttony. He had not.
Nor was our Kentucky boy repentant. When he came into the house he made a beeline for the kitchen and sat begging as Steve washed off the bird and inspected the damage. It had never left the pan and Tai (because of the heat) had only managed to rip off the first section of wing. There would still be plenty for the week's WDA meals.
"Your not going to use that," Michael commented as he watched Steve. All of the WDA except White Dog (who sat waiting to be served in the living room) and Bella (who barked her demands from the doorway) clustered around Steve waiting for a sample. "Why not?" Steve asked. "Well, because it was on the ground!" Michael answered emphatically.
"Well, first the bird managed to stay in the pan; second, you are talking about dogs who if given the chance, eat stuff they find on the street; third," he said reaching down to give small pieces of meat to the Master Thief and his Beggar friends, "I don't hear ANY complaints!"