The hole in the cornfield was about ten feet deep, and six feet across. Clark walked around it, looking down trying to figure out the cause. He was hoping the cause was not a seemingly innocent white puppy that had already done his best to chew through any toy Clark had given him and had moved on to gnawing on the wood pile. Shelby sat on the edge of the hole, looking down, and Clark got the feeling that the older dog was also less than pleased with the new arrival.
"Sorry, boy." Clark said to his dog, who looked up at him, listening. "Can't help family. Let's find Krypto, Shelby." The golden retriever stood and ran off, returning to Clark after a few minutes, carrying Krypto. There was no way around it. The usually white puppy was caked in mud, and wearing an expression of absolute guilt as Shelby set him down. Krypto whimpered, looking up at Clark sadly, with his small white tail wagging hopefully. He eyed Shelby, who growled softly, and then up at Clark again.
Clark smiled in spite of himself, giving Shelby's head a scratch and then picking Krypto up to look into his little face. The puppy wriggled, trying to lick and nip at Clark's nose.
"Yes, I know.." Clark laughed, and then frowned, "You have to help it, Krypto…no more holes. Can't run a farm with holes in the fields everywhere. I know you understand me." He carried the dirty puppy into the yard, Shelby following along. "Kara!"
"Did you call me?" Kara said, suddenly beside Clark in the front yard, as if out of thin air. These rapid appearances had become one of Kara's most beloved amusements since arriving on Earth a few weeks back, and her favorite target, above all others, was Lois. Kara could be amused endlessly watching the older girl jump and yell in surprise, every time. Even though she knew she could not surprise Clark, Chloe or Martha in the same way, Kara did not stop trying. Seeing she had once again failed to startle Clark, Kara smiled brightly at Clark. "I was putting my new room together."
Clark nodded, and handed the muddy puppy to his cousin. "He needs a bath, and there's a hole in the corn field big enough to put a hot tub in." Clark took a faded bandana from his pocket and wiped his hands clean of the mud. "Need help with your room? I can do some painting when I'm done filling in the hole."
Kara held Krypto at arms length, her nose wrinkled in disgust. "Ugh, this is the second time today…." Realizing she'd let something slip, she turned to go, but Clark was too fast, and before she could get three steps, he was blocking her way.
"Second time TODAY?" Clark asked indignantly, thinking of more huge pits in the Kent family cornfields, and Kara's voice rose defensively.
"No big deal. He got into the paint for my room, and, well, there are streaks along the floor now, but I like them, so…" She said defensively, pulling the puppy close and getting mud all over the new green blouse Lois had brought back from Gotham City for her. In spite of the pranks, or maybe because of them, Lois adored Kara and took every chance she could to spoil her. Chloe too, spent a great deal of time with Kara and had been the one to proudly escort the new arrival to her favorite place, the Metropolis Municipal Library. Clark, on the other hand, was much faster to take a hard line with Kara, reminding himself of Jonathan Kent in his dealings with his young cousin.
"We have to think of something to keep Krypto out of trouble. I don't know what to do with him, Kara. It's not your fault." Clark said, seeing the sadness in Kara's eyes. "The sun here does strange things to us, I guess Kryptonian dogs are no exception."
"I'll keep a better eye on him, Clark, I promise." Kara said, smiling again. Clark was so easy, she thought to herself, hugging Krypto closer. "Come on…time for your bath, again."
Dr. Willowbrook looked up from his desk when he heard his office door open. "Miss Sullivan! This is a surprise." He closed the large folio of sketches he had been studying and rose out of his seat.
"Please, Dr. Willowbrook, call me Chloe." Chloe smiled, and shook Dr. Willowbrook's hand. "I was hoping you had a minute.."
"Sure, hope it's not for that interview, though. Told you, I'm too old to be all that interesting to newspaper people." Dr. Willowbrook teased, offering Chloe the nearest chair.
"No, thank you." Chloe shook her head. "It's about that vision I had a couple of weeks ago, and the whole Angel Heart thing." Chloe said, looking down at her hands. "I thought we'd gotten everything resolved, but I've seen the former shaman several times since. He seems to be trying to tell me something, but my knowledge of Kitwatchee is lacking."
"I'll be glad to help you, Chloe." Dr. Willowbrook said, sitting down across from Chloe. He looked into her face. "I take it you have not told Naman about any of this." When she began to protest, the professor smiled gently. "I have daughters, Chloe. And, granddaughters. I'm an old pro when it comes to women. Why haven't you told him?"
"There's a lot going on with his family right now, and I'd like to know what's going on before I talk to him about it." Chloe said, taking a deep breath in. She smiled bravely. "I know that sounds like a cop out, but I get the feeling that this is something I need to do myself."
"Well, in that case, Chloe, why don't you come out to the tribal center tomorrow? I'll have Miriam meet us there." Dr. Willowbrook nodded. "We'll figure out what the old man wants."