September 06, 2009

leaf impressions, quack not clack, Great Pyrenees

1. At the newly landscaped pond at the multi-use development, the designers imprinted leaves and grasses into the wet cement so that the impressions dried in. Not until after I drive off do I wonder whether they took real plants from the surrounding fields, or used ready-made stamps. Oh no, how will I know whether I’m allowed to like it or not?

2. A nearby clacking: at first I think it’s my phone mischievously taking snapshots inside my pocket, but it’s a pair of quacking waterbirds at the edge of the pond, small and black with off-white bills, quick-paddling this way and that through the grass and algae and dipping for munchables, and followed by three fuzzy chicks with red bills who wonder, “What’s next?”

3. The dogs are out, their masters putting on or taking off their leashes. From the other side of the pond I’m planning what I’m going to say to the leash-removers if I command myself not to chicken out. But by the time we’re all on the same side of the pond it’s occurred to me that these people may know how to handle their animals –- canine-human pairs stop on the path to greet one another and separate with no horrible consequences -- and that the only unpeaceful things in the scene are my own judgments. In a wild departure, I smile at one of the dog owners and ask him what breed his big beautiful dog is: it’s a Great Pyrenees.

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