thump
thump
thump

The tail of the little mottled dog beat time as she ambled along beside the walking man. The dog's origins were as uncertain as that of the man. That dog was of no particular breed, and if someone had to come up with one, it would have been Heinz 57 for certain.

The dog had been snoozing in someone's front yard when the walking man came by. Perhaps his measured tread had attracted her. Perhaps the way he seemed to glide as he paced the heaved and cracked sidewalk had lured her from her languid pose in the sunshine. In any case, she'd surged to her feet and joined him, claws ticking faintly as she moved.

She sniffed as they passed along that well-worn concrete walk. She knew every buckle and join. She knew the trees, both the ancient maples and the young, ambitious saplings. She knew the cars and the houses. She knew where the cats were -- which ones were full of bravado but would run when chased, and which ones would rake you with their cruel claws. Most of all, she knew where the children lived who might give out a treat, and also which of them was mean.

They moved along, man and dog, in a companionable way. They stopped to smell the fragrant new blossoms of a flowering bush. They stopped to pee - well, she did, and he waited. They stopped to stare down a pudgy calico tomcat lying insolently on a window sill. But mostly, they moved on.

All too soon they came to the last house, and the edge of town. The sidewalk ended, but the road stretched on, blacktop shimmering in the sunshine. From somewhere the walking man produced a milk bone - not a bribe, but a parting gift between friends. She sat down and chewed it as the man walked on. As he dwindled in the distance, her tail drummed happily against the sidewalk.

thump
thump
thump

turn back . . . walk on

Log in or registerto write something here or to contact authors.