Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The Great Stalk

Two dogs sniff intently at the grass. One big and sleek and black and tan, the other small and sleek and glowing autumn red.

What's the news today? What has changed since we were here last night? What bugs have passed? Any rabbit scent? Say, there's a piece of paper!

Two bluejays flutter down in a corner of the chainlink at the far end of the yard. Their feathers are brilliant sky, cerulean, lapis. One hops a step forward.

Both dogs flick their heads up and freeze. The black one's docked tail rises. The red one oh, so slowly pulls a front foot into the air.

Haunches tense and lower just a little. A blue jay walks a step. Muscles begin to quiver. The heads are absolutely motionless.

A blue jay takes a hop. Two dogs, one large one very small, leap forward in concert, from zero to full speed in a single stride.

The jays indignantly flutter up to a branch. The dogs slow to a stop, watch, then lower their heads. Hey, what's the news today? What else has gone on in the yard since last night? Look! A leaf!

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