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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Singer and Aiden

Singer’s best friend in Minnesota was Aiden, a young male Irish setter. They used to run together through the pines, weaving in and out, in an intricate pattern that only they knew how to create. And recreate, day after day.

Aiden would dash out of the kennel first, daring Singer to follow him. She took him up on the call every time, her paws scrabbling on the concrete kennel, anxious to run. He would glance back at her, and just seeing her follow gave him a charge of energy, boosting his pace. The wind carried their ears aloft like birds swiveling sideways in a head wind. She tucked her head down and sped up to his side, then he sharply turned to the left among a copse of pine trees, and expertly jumped over a rotting log. Her feet turned also, and she was soon right beside him again. Their noses twitched as they entered this small forest, bursting with animal, decaying plant and other verdant scents. Singer became distracted and slowed a little. Aiden was right up ahead, but he turned to see if Singer was still following.

Then the bewitching scent of squirrel seizes Singer by the neck, as if a giant leash were snapped taut around her neck. Now her head is set back a few degrees, her body frozen in a graceful attentive posture--tail up, one forepaw held up, and she begins to mesmerize. Out of the periphery, she sees Aiden, nose to the ground as he tries to follow a scent. Her body is still but her nose shivers as it becomes flooded with the delicious scent of squirrel. It makes her heart tremble with joy, but she keeps those secrets hidden as she concentrates.

The squirrel tries to make a dash for the large pine tree just ahead, and Singer gallops to catch it. She almost makes it, her bronze coat flashing in the patches of sun that skitters through the boughs, its delicate lacy texture splashed on the ground. Singer is so close, but the squirrel escapes by leaping halfway up the trunk and disappearing among the top branches. Singer puts one paw on the trunk of a nearby oak and tilts her head up, unwilling to let go.

Meanwhile, Aiden has followed the scent of rabbit out of the forest. He suddenly notices that his companion, his best friend, is not beside him. He looks back to see Singer, poised on the trunk of an oak, and shakes his head. This action slows him down considerably and he loses the rabbit. But no matter, his friend Singer has now started to run toward him, and he eagerly looks toward a field, where they will run companionably, side by side, noting the pleasant rush of smells in the wind until the sun sets later that afternoon.

Writer’s note:  This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual or living characters is merely a coincidence. [Hah! That’s what I always say when I read this disclaimer…]

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