Monday night madness, I thought, glancing at my kitchen clock. Church orchestra practice was in less than half an hour, and I still had things to take care of—cook some chicken to take for lunch that week, feed the dogs, change out of my work clothes.I filled a pot with water and stuck it on the stove, turning the gas burner up high. Orange flames licked the metal. Hurry, hurry. I stared at the pot, then caught myself. A watched pot never boils, I thought. I set the chicken next to the stove, all ready to go.Now the dogs. “Bubba, Paco, dinner!” Our six-year-old basset hound and five-year-old Lab mix scampered in. They eyed the chicken on the counter. “No, no,” I said. I scooped kibble into their bowls and they chowed down.By then the water was rolling furiously, so I threw the chicken in. Finally I glanced at the clock again. Gotta get a move on!I ran to my bedroom and changed. “Go play,” I told the dogs, letting them out into our fenced-in yard. Then I grabbed my keys and headed to church. I made it to my seat at the chimes just as everyone else finished tuning their instruments. Phew!Practice went well. We were all getting our parts down and I felt confident about mine. It wasn’t till I was pulling out of my parking space afterward that it hit me. The chicken. I’d left the pot boiling!I tried not to break the speed limit on the drive home, but dreadful visions filled my head. Everything we owned burned to ashes. The dogs, were they safe? Lord, I prayed, things are just things, but please, watch over Bubba and Paco!I turned onto our street. No flames or smoke or fire trucks. The house looked fine from the outside. The dogs were fine too, romping in the yard.Inside, I didn’t smell any smoke. I rushed to the stove, turned off the burner and peered into the pot.The chicken wasn’t burned. There was still plenty of water sloshing around in the pot—two and a half hours after I had left it boiling. Two and a half hours!Someone was watching the pot after all.