SLim’s story continues 6.17
In the few months after SLim reunited with George (the boy who partially tamed him), both had been in new adventures, sometimes together, sometimes on separate occasions.
Together, they roamed the desert, settling in on warm afternoons at the corner convenience store and sharing a Thrifty ice cream cone. George licked the ice cream down to the cone and then SLim chomped on the remains.
“You like the bottom end, don’t you, fella. Works good for both of us since I like the top.” George brushed the dust from his over-the-ankles pants he inherited from his older brother, Tom. “Looks like it’s time for us to head on home since I have homework to do before I can play baseball.”
SLim heard the word “ball” and his ears perked up. He liked certain kinds of balls: cheese balls scattered across the park grass were his favorite. He trotted after George, keeping his eyes open for rabbits and birds. Not very hungry, the glances were mostly just for practice.
“Life’s pretty cheery right now with George, but I know the happy days can’t be counted on,” SLim reflected as he spotted a young quail under a mesquite bush. “Huh, that young ‘un ain’t goin’ to last long if he doesn’t know enough to scatter when I come by.”
So that’s how the days often passed as they two hung out together. On their own was another story.
George tore his paints on barbed wire as he and his best friend, Charlie, chased bats from under the arroyo bridge. For that he got a few hits on his bottom from his stepdad, Marty. George didn’t like Marty much and the feeling was mutual.
SLim tore a toenail trying to scrape the dry skin of a tomato off a park bench. He also was chased by a man on a golf cart and had to hide behind a bush near the zoo. SLim heard a lion roar and his scrawny legs trembled. Not much scared SLim, but the sound of a big cat did. Bobcats could be a mean adversary and mountain lions, well, SLim stayed scarce from their territory.
For now, sticking close to George’s regular meals worked pretty well. As dusk settled in, George came out of the house and squeezed a couple of handfuls of dinner leftovers through the backyard fence. SLim watched George sit down on the dirt and wait for SLim to come out of the high grasses. Together, they enjoyed the moonlight and stars and imagined another day of adventures.