It's spring and the grass is growing fast in the yard at the back of my office. In quiet moments of the morning I sit and have a cup of tea before I get started for the day and gaze out the window at nothing in particular.
In the distance I see something moving through the grass, something low and black, an animal. As it gets closer I see it's a small dachsund bobbing up and down through the greenery. In some spots all I can see is his head. It's really time to mow, I realize.
My mom comes into the room, stops and looks at me for a moment. As a self-proclaimed "woman of action" she finds it nearly unbearable that I'm sitting there holding a cup of tea and staring out the window. In fact, most everyone in my family cannot understand at all why I look out the window and invariably assume I'm having either a petit mal seizure or some kind of depressive incident. They give me way too much credit since mostly what's going on in my mind is something like, "Grass... green... pretty. Tea... good."
But back to Mom who fills the room with her silence. She follows the line of my gaze out the window where she spies the little dog plowing happily through the grass. My reverie is interrupted when she exclaims, "THAT'S THAT DOG! THE DOG! THE BLACK ONE THAT ALWAYS POOPS ALL OVER THE PARKING LOT!"
I glance over and say, "Huh." I'm passive-aggressively non-committal.
Suddenly she races across my office and out the other door, through the conference room, through the kitchen. The side door flies open and I hear her screaming at the dog to get out of the yard and stop pooping around here.
Simultaneously I'm still watching through the window. The dog's ears go up and he looks alarmed. He turns and races as fast as his 2-inch legs will carry him back through the tall grass toward his house. Halfway across the yard he turns around and puffs his chest out and barks at her several times as if to say, "Oh yeah? Look at me standing in your yard, barking at you."
He then senses what we all sense about her -- that she is dangerous and it's best to not push our luck. Before she can respond he turns and runs again to the fence, the boundary of our property. He turns again and barks, half-heartedly but determined to keep some dignity. "Here I am again, barking at you!"
The side door slams and Mom comes back in and looks out the window to be certain he's gone. She seems satisfied.
"You sure showed him," I said.
"Well, he ought notta be pooping in this yard."
"He told you a thing or two before he left. Did you see?"
"Yeah, whenever I go by his house he barks at me like he's gonna come and tear my face off."
I smiled and sipped some more tea. I'm not sure which of them won. I think I'm actually the winner watching that amusing showdown.
I set down my tea and get to work.
[photo credit: valerie miller]