2028. Otis with his superior hearing listened to these sounds in a different way. Certainly he could hear the spectators and their screams of encouragement to the contestants, but also it was possible for him to distinguish the actual sounds of the fight itself. Embedded in all of that noise he could hear also the sudden flick of a tail, the twitch of an ear, and the rapid anxious breathing of the dogs in the few seconds before they attacked each other in a fury.
2029. Screwing up his ears to a greater focus he could
detect the sound of the heartbeats of the two contestants, even during
the thick of the fight. From those sounds alone, and his understanding
of the meaning of those sounds, he certainly would have been a wealthy
wolf, if wolves condescended to wager on sporting events.
2030. Otis listened to the dogs fighting with a certain
detachment mixed with curiosity, but it was not so with the Rooster. The
poor Rooster went from one anxiety attack to another, pacing about the
back of the wagon in extreme distress, and yet all along trying some how
to conceal his anxiety from Otis. He was wracking his little brain as
to how to explain what was happening. The last thing he wanted to do was
to talk about dog fighting to anybody, least of all Otis.
2031. He was not anxious for himself, but he couldn’t stand the idea that his dear friend would have to suffer such an ordeal. Something must be said here about the relationship between Otis and the Rooster. It was no conventional friendship. First of all, it seldom happens that a bird and a wolf become associates. But when they do it is a friendship that transcends the usual boundaries.