Monday, June 15, 2009

Edward ... Inside On A Hot Afternoon

Toadlike, almost sinister, the hot day squatted atop the ivy-covered cottage, claiming the afternoon for its own and bringing with it a muggy June air thick enough to grab up by the fistfuls. The blue flowers bowed their heads low, in prayer for a cooler hour. The old trees napped. Like the singing steam from a tea kettle, the sultry heat pressed in against the windowpanes and inprisioned the big white dog in the coolness of the sleepy shady rooms of the house.

All during the many crisp delights of the other seasons, the big dog knew this day would come. Summer days like this one made his fur feel heavy. He glanced over at his people, still placidly reading in their favourite chairs. He sighed, louder this time, but all he got in return was a smile. Well after all, he thought, what could they do?

Turning back to the window, the dog noticed the long-fingered shadow of the fir tree in the garden had now disappeared. Looking up, he saw charcoal skies beginning to gather overhead, advancing from the west, as though a cavalry of windgusts had been sent from on high to blow this still unpleasantness to the sweltering hinterlands. He listened. Yes, he could just hear it, far off in the distance - the booming sound of their hoofbeats of thunder. It was time to take cover. He hopped up next to the lady, circled a few times and lay down with a satisfied plop. She patted his head absentmindedly. The rain began to fall, weighty wet drops that hit the ground with a sizzle, slowly at first, then in a torrent of silver streamers that washed away even the memory of the oppressive afternoon.

The big white dog laid his head on the lady’s knee.
He was happy now.