I walked today with my fifteen year old daughter. It’s nice to hit the trail together when she gets home from school so that we can catch up on the day’s activities. She can get to the piles of homework when we get back, but while we are out, all of that is far away and of little concern.
When we were just around the corner from our house, we passed our neighbor putting stain on a deck. His dog, Sam, was lying in the sun killing time until the job was done so we invited the pooch to join us. Happy to oblige, Sam hopped up and headed off down the trail.
It’s a different walk with a dog, more stops for sniffing and marking and, well, dog duties. But we had fun speculating what he was thinking about why we didn’t engage in these activities, what news he read with his nose, and so on.
Almost at the end of our jaunt, my daughter and Sam waited for me to cross the street so I could deposit the poop bag in the only garbage can nearby, and in those few minutes I missed the biggest adventure of all. With my back turned, Sam pounced into the tall grass and emerged with a rodent clamped in his mighty jaws. My daughter enticed Sam to drop the beast just as I was walking back and it looked huge…not a rat, though, maybe a vole? It lay there wet with Sam’s saliva and looked for all intents and purposes, dead to the world. We were amazed that this mild-mannered canine could catch such a fast moving thing in so short a time. We managed to get away leaving it on the sidewalk hoping that Sam hadn’t received any nips or bites. Of course, we reported all of this to our neighbor when we dropped Sam off and he couldn’t believe it. “Sam? Catch something?” and he scurried back to see if he could identify the species of the rodent.
The beast was gone when he arrived. We hope the thing was just stunned when we left it motionless on the sidewalk. As soon as we left, perhaps it shook itself back to life and headed home with grand stories of how he escaped a terrible fate.
We headed home too with tales of the rodent pounced by the pooch. It all reminds me that even mild-mannered Sam still has a bit of the wild residing within.