Saturday, May 10, 2008

Prairie Dog

Not only is Spring fickle and shy, but she can't quite decide what she wants to be. One minute she's a flirting, free-spirited friend, the next she a dour and pouting child. This morning her skies were grim and low then they blued up and the wind died when she shut her mouth and held her breath. From the patio I could see the kites rolling lazy figure eights on the hill above the trees. Duncan sat in the window most of the day, his chin resting on the ledge, staring glumly outside at the gray and rain but once the clouds drifted past the sun he'd turn and glare at me with sharp, accusatory eyes, as if reprimanding me for not jumping at the chance to take him out. I was lazy today and didn't trust the weather to last more than a few minutes. But when Spring finally got her mood under control and the afternoon leveled off, we ventured down the back side of the park to Prairie Dog Town on the hillside behind the high school. We sat a long time watching the barking little dogs watch us. Duncan has never taken much interest in them, with their flattened bodies crouched down in their burrows, only the tips of their noses visible, but today I couldn't tear him away. He sat in the soft dirt, his tail thumping the grass behind him each time they squeaked their little bird-like curses at us. If I weren't quite so paranoid about the fact that the fleas on these very same prairie dogs tested positive for the plague last summer, I'd let him romp and crash through their little suburb, chase them under ground and have a merry old time. As it is, simply watching him enjoy them is enough for me.

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