As Duncan has learned many times on our walks, sometimes there are discoveries to be made in the low bushes and shrubs along our grassy path. I could not count the number of sticks or balls (tennis, base or golf) he had retrieved and dropped, wet and heavy, into the palm of my hand. Or the birds he has rooted out, scattering them into a fluttering, dancing cacophony in the air about his head. Sometimes there have been mice, darting frantically, little more than rustling gray streaks, at our feet. And squirrels and lizards and frogs and bunnies. There are a hundred things in the deep shadows of those places that await the delight of a Golden.
But sometimes those things we find don't get up and run away. Sometimes they are meant to stay where they are, their days of play and sunshine behind them, the slow obligation of their eternal stillness just beginning.
Try explaining that to your inquisitive companion who stares up at you, a smile on his face, ears raised hopefully, expectantly, as the sunshine dapples his face and eyes.
“My heart has joined the Thousand, for my friend stopped running today."
(Richard Adams, Watership Down)