After the sun had set and the cool air seemed to rise up from the grass and hills of the park, Duncan and I ventured out for our first truly enjoyable walk of the day. It has been hot here, very hot, and the air has been tinged with the faint, warm scent of smoke from the fires burning to across the Front Range, especially the big ones to the north and south of us. Mornings have been pleasant but the heat comes too soon and we often find ourselves resting in the shade under one of the big elms at the park, rolling in the grass until we're nice and wet. But last night the park cooled quickly so we took a long, meandering stroll across the soccer fields, through the baseball diamonds and up the hillside overlooking the upper park and the lake, whose level has dropped off from the lack of rain and the searing temperatures.
We were coming down the hillside to investigate the shady spot in the tall grass where the bunnies roost when a man, perhaps in his early thirties, stepped away from his small gathering under the picnic shelter. I assume he'd been drinking for the light wobble in his step and the words I could see him mouthing to himself as he trudges away from his group. He stepped around the line of port-a-potties which have been set up for the girls' softball tournament, and which, under the relentless heat of the day, have begun to smell horrific, like steaming clouds of radioactive green chemicals. I couldn't blame him for choosing to step into the line of tall shrubs rather than open one of those florescent blue doors and step inside.
Duncan saw him too, and no sooner had the man unbuttoned his fly and started watering the bushes, than Roo took off toward him, his propeller tail swishing gaily through the air above him.
"Roo!" I called and hurried after him, uncertain of how close I should actually get to the man, especially in his vulnerable state.
The man evidently didn't hear me and he certainly never saw what was coming. There was nothing I could do to stop Dunc from coming up the hill behind the man and sticking his cool, moist nose squarely against the man's thigh, who cried out, jumped, turned quickly and sprayed a wide arc across the shrubs and all down the front of his khaki cargo shorts.
"Sorry about that," I winced. He turned his back to me and continued about his business while Roo took a seat and waited for the attention he thought he deserved.
"No problems, man," he said, finishing up. "I'd give him a pat but I think I should get washed up first." He gestured at the front of his shorts and held his hands up high in front of him.
Apparently a flying goose isn't the only one Duncan enjoys.