Our State: Celebrating North Carolina

THE SHELTERED LIFE

SWEET EMMA PEARL WAS ON HER feet, growling, every hair down her spine rigid as a toothbrush bristle. I sat up in my sleeping bag, slowly. She was ready to launch. “Easy, girl,” I crooned. I was pretty sure of what was out there. “Stay.”

Light from a bed of campfire coals flickered in her eyes. Emma was always an overprotective sort. I felt her hind legs tense and made a grab for her collar. “No,” I ordered. “NO!” And then she leapt from the trail shelter as I scrambled to get out of my sleeping

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