Last night, after I put the kids to bed, I walked into the kitchen to find the kitchen door partway open. “That’s strange,” I thought, but I closed it and locked it and located both cats, and didn’t think too much about it. I assumed that perhaps the kids had used it and not closed it all the way, and that a breeze or the settling of the house had opened it. This was at about 8:30 or so in the evening.
The rest of the evening progressed as usual, until around 11pm. I was sitting by my computer (where I am usually found after the kids go to bed), and suddenly the dog lets forth a terrible racket from the vicinity of the living/dining room. At first I didn’t jump up…I just assumed that it was Scott letting himself in and that the dog hadn’t yet realized that it was him on the other side of the door. I would like to say that I run to the door each time he comes home, but the amount of running I do is directly proportional to how long he has stayed at work, and at 11pm he doesn’t get any running. He’s lucky if he gets a “hi” by that point while I continue on with my facebook wordtwist game.
However, the barking continued just a little too long, and I didn’t hear the door open or Scott’s normal friendly greeting to Beauty to get her to calm down and realize that it is just him. I called to him, thinking that perhaps he lost his key or something, but there was no answer.
Beauty continued to bark, along with the low growling that scares the heck out of you if you encounter it even on the other side of a high fence. The strangeness of it all prompted me to get up and go look. As I walked out into the living room, the scene that awaited me was the dining room door to the back of the house hanging wide open. I mean WIDE open, with Beauty standing firmly in the doorway barking and growling like a rabid street dog.
I stared yelling “Scott, Scott, SCOTT!”, with growing urgency, hoping that maybe it was him coming in the back door for some reason, but knowing that it most likely wasn’t by this point. Whoever it was had no business here, and Beauty let them know that. They were long gone by the time I even got out there.
It took some courage, but, drawing strength and courage from Beauty’s presence, I raced to the back door, slammed it shut and locked it. I got on the phone to Scott immediately, prompting him to jump in the car and hightail it home, while Beauty and I checked on the kids and started turning on lights. Looking out the front window I noticed that the front gate was wide open as well.
Scott made it home in 10 minutes (he can really move if he wants to!), and he brought the security guards with him to do a thorough check of the house, yard, servant house, and roof. They carried with them a bamboo pole with which to firmly beat the intruder about the head and neck. About as effective as a willow switch, if you ask me, but at least they had SOMETHING with them. I’d have preferred a little firepower by this point.
Ender opened his eyes as we checked his room, and I thought he would be scared to see Scott and I and 2 men examining his bathroom and closet, but he never said anything about it this morning so he must not have been really awake. Maybe he just thought that it was a strange group of tooth faries coming to shower him with money while he slept.
We slept last night with a large chair pushed in front of the dining room door, and a 50lb bag of dog food in front of the kitchen door. Scott was going to call today and get decent locks on those doors like we have on our front one. The houseboy has suggested us locking our front gate also using big padlocks, but its just another key for me to lose. I really need a keyless entry. ( I have a horrible problem with losing keys) Anyone who really wants in can scale the fence quite easily. (Just ask the kids…they do it all the time!)
The thought is that someone came and pushed the first door open early in the evening and found that we were all awake. Or, maybe they were just testing it. (That will teach me to lock my doors!). After we were presumed to be asleep, (I turn most of the lights off by that time and sit in the dark by my computer), they returned. If burglery was thier intent, I think they would find it to be slim pickings here, as we have very little worth stealing. But, of course, they don’t know that. Our houses look like mansions to many here, and the definition of “wealthy” all depends on your perspective.
Don’t worry, we are fine. Beauty took care of us and finally earned the title of protector of the family. The homeowner’s association and the security have been notified, and the new security company that was scheduled to start on Monday will be notified as well. (Guess we now know why they fired the old ones!). I am not overtly scared now, just more cautious. Extra caution and vigilence are an asset in these troubled times, and the lesson was not lost us.
And as for my huge, furry, somewhat stinky protector:
Well Done, Beauty, Well Done!