Monday, March 23, 2009

The Best of Friends

It was an wayward baseball, launched, no doubt, from the bat of a too-eager Little Leaguer, up high over the fence and out into the wild world where it rolled and it rolled till it came to a stop on a bed of lenten roses in the garden of an elderly neighbor. And there it lay, unnoticed and undisturbed, till the sunny afternoon last week when Edward came by, nonchalantly prancing along in the midst of his lunchtime walk. Pulling up short, he sniffed the air, looked down to his left, and spied the ball. An unexpected treasure ... the very best kind! Gingerly, he picked it up and carried it with him, all the way back to his own drive, up the stairs, through the kitchen and out the back door, with Apple on his heels. What a treat! What a find! The two friends could not wait to see what this round leather thing could do!

Edward rolled it to Apple, she rolled it back. He batted it with his polar bear paws across the lawn in true Beckham fashion. She impishly stole it and ran teasingly over the stone wall and through the hydrangea border. He bent low by the climbing rose, patiently waiting to pounce when she emerged from the other side of the birdbath. And pounce he did, igniting a rolling, tumbling festival that continued all over the garden till they both became so tickled with themselves there was nothing left but to run full out, cutting figure eights all through the trees. When they couldn’t run a minute more, they flopped, out of breath and grinning as only the best of friends can grin on a sunny day after playing with a baseball for the very first time. I watched them from the window, laughing, and wondered what dogless people do in the middle of the afternoon for entertainment.

Painting above: Best of Friends by Abel Hold

Best of Friends in the Flesh