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The Park

The park was his favorite place in the city. He did a lot of growing up on his grandparents’ farm and that love of the grass between his toes and the sun on his cheeks never left him, despite having lived in the city most of his adult life.

Though he could be competitive, the park was different. He was never more than a dozen steps from a frisbee and always took one along when he went out. Sometimes he would toss it around with a visiting dog, sometimes other visitors, but it was always fun; everyone likes a frisbee.

On this Saturday in mid-May, the morning was sunny and Winter’s chill was forgotten as he took a walk into the park. As soon as he smelled the freshly cut grass, he relaxed. Once he touched it – he was as good as home. The only others out in shorts on the cool, but pleasant morning were the runners.

Twirling the frisbee on one finger, he walked slowly across the grassy meadow. Vaguely aware of the runners in the distance, he was caught off guard when the dog appeared in front of him. The dog appeared to be a Lab mix of some sort. It sat before him, mouth open, tail thumping the ground, eyeing the frisbee as it twirled. Its legs rippled as if made of springs, like it was about to rocket off in some direction.

The caster and the retriever know each other at a glance, so he stopped twirling the frisbee. His feet go shoulder width apart and the dog crouches. The frisbee held firmly in his right hand, he brings it across his body in a smooth wind up. At this, the dog curls up a bit more, awaiting the release. He pauses, poised, enjoying the unspoken signals and the twitch of whiskers as the wind shifts. Picking a spot as target, he coils up his arm and just as he uncoils, releasing the disc into flight, the dog launches into a full run at a moment.

The spinning frisbee begins low and the dog shoots forward, grass rippling in its wake, as it tries to reach it before – too late. The spin catches the breeze, just as planned, and the disc soars skyward. He watches, enjoying the flight, soaring along with the frisbee and notices with admiration as the dog bows its head and runs harder. As if knowing the destination of the frisbee, the dog ignores it. As the breeze alters slightly, the dog, unerringly, tracks the frisbee without effort. Somehow feeling the slowing momentum, the dog slows and looks up. As he watches, the dog takes only one side step and then leaps into the sky to snatch the frisbee as the dog’s arc reaches its zenith.

Only at this moment, does he become aware of a voice approaching, calling for someone’s attention. The dog, hearing the call, rushes back at top speed to stand, tail wagging and panting before a dropped frisbee, him, and her.

She is dressed in red running shorts and a matching red Tee shirt with a white cursive letter “A” on it. The shirt flowed gracefully over her shoulders and rippled around her waist. Her shoulder length hair is the color of chestnuts highlighted with streaks of dark copper. Her brown eyes are the color of coffee with extra cream, just the way he likes it. Her skin is also no stranger to the sun and glows from under the tan. She stands, glaring at the dog for a moment, her left hand holding a red leash that exactly matches the dog’s collar.

She glances at the man, who is staring at the beauty who just ran up to him. Sheepishly, she addresses him.

“I’m very sorry. She got away from me. She has never bolted before. Are you ok?”
Scoldingly, “You silly dog.”

“Uh, no. No problem. We were just playing frisbee. She’s wonderful. You should be proud. How often do you work with her?”

“What? Never. I don’t even own a frisbee.”

“Wow. She’s a natural. Here, take this one. She seems to like it”

“Oh, but I couldn’t.”

“Nonsense. I have plenty. Can I have another turn first? It is ok?”

“What? Oh, sure.”

He bends to pickup the frisbee. As he moves, the dog walks around to stand between him and her mistress.

“What is her name?”

“Oh. This is Slinky.”

“Slinky… I like that. Ready, Slinky?”

He stands a little apart from her and spreads his feet. Slinky takes a step forward and crouches. Taking a firm grip on the frisbee, he winds it up and with a whipping movement, the frisbee and the dog take off across the park.

“You are kind to play with my dog.”

“It’s nothing. This is the most fun I’ve had.”

“Can I buy you a coffee? In exchange for the frisbee.”

“Sure. I’d love that.”

the end.
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  1. 26 February 2009 at 22:27

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