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It's going to be one of those nights
The humidity is building
The tall trees are bending sideways
And the weather radar has that familiar pattern
Shifting greens and reds and yellows
From the west out to the east

Everyone wants the rain and no one is concerned about the structure of the house
But someone in the house is shaking and seems to be
On the verge of a nervous breakdown

And so, even though it's normally not allowed,
I open the bedroom door and let the dog curl up next to me
Where she spends the entire stormy night shivering and turning in ever closer circles
As if she could disappear if only she could tighten that circle a bit more

The most bothersome thing about it is the smell of fear she gives off
It is most unpleasant
I have smelled this odor of fear on myself before
I wonder if it's one of the mammals' last subconscious defense mechanisms
(Except for the skunk, where it must be Number One on the "to do" list)
But if you were in the jaws of a shark, would your body emit this fear-odor
As one last gasp of hope that it would make you just untasty enough?

So even though it disturbs my sleep, I don't mind offering the dog my hand
Every hour or so since it seems to calm her down

I have been scared and on the verge of falling apart myself
It occurs to me that I wouldn't mind crawling into bed with
A creature ten times my size
Who would reach out his or her huge paw or hand once an hour or so
And gently pat me while sounding a deep soothing "awwww"
And telling me the storm will soon be over

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