Our house was almost in view when I heard Buster yelp and felt myself being lifted off the ground. I held onto the leash with one hand and fought to free myself with the other. Pieces of rope crisscrossed my body and Buster struggled wildly in the air beside me. I reached over and unsnapped his lease, hoping it would help him escape. But we both seemed to be entangled in some sort of net, like the ones they use to trap wild animals.
I grasped a section of rope by Buster’s nose and stuck my feet into the bottom of the square made by the design of the net. Then I grabbed the top of the square and pulled up with all my might while pushing down with my feet. The square stretched enough that Buster could slip his head through. I pulled and pushed some more and shoved Buster’s head and front legs all the way out. He seemed to get what I was doing because he began to wriggle his back end to propel his head and shoulders forward. I disentangled the rope squares around his haunches and rump and he was finally able to jump the five feet to the ground. To my relief, he looked unhurt and began to bark frantically.
“Go to Liz. Go back to Liz’s” I yelled. But then, too late, I saw what he was barking at. Two black figures in ski masks came at me with baseball bats. I curled up in the best fetal position I could manage, arms wrapped around my head, and tried to get the trap swinging as much as possible. I figured if I was moving it might be harder to land solid blows. Nevertheless hellish blooms of pain burst out all over my back, arms and legs. A blow found my ankle. I screamed as loudly as I could. I lost control of my bladder. Buster had stopped barking, and I wondered if I’d finally gotten my beloved friend killed.
At some point I became aware that no one was hitting me and the jungle had grown quiet. I was lying sideways, swinging back and forth over the path. I vomited up what little my stomach contained and passed out.