In the distance...
Then, developing a bit of a stitch-as is my wont, I have been ill you know- I slowed down a spell and walked, pausing only once or twice to lean over and hack up all manner of crap that still is refusing to vacate my lungs, like Anna Nicole Smith in that Barbados house.
Still... I was happy enough. I was minding my own business, I was considering what I might have for breakfast. It had to be a substantial breakfast for I am going to the Troc for dinner tonight and I don't want to be messin' up my appetite, yo.
When suddenly I spied an ancient dog amble out from the trees a few feet ahead of me. He was a alsation cross, stiff legged, wall eyed, carrying a log in his mouth.
I blinked at it, too late I remembered that normally this particular beast was accompanied by that most frightful of foes.
The personal space invader.
I went to gallop off back the direction I had come, but it was two late.
'Hello there, you don't have himself with you today, do you?'
'Oh hello, no har, all alone today.'
She is referring to Country Gay's tireless dog, this is how I am known to this terrible woman, it seems once you join the dog owner club you can never leave. I tried to get out but they keep pulling me back in.
'Very windy today isn't it?' She approached. I stood my ground, maybe my sweating mucky slurmy self might deter her.
I was wrong.
'Forecast is for terrible rain.' She stops exactly one and one half inches form my face. I can see her pores and a bit of gunk she has in the corner of her left eye.
'I was just saying to Melly this morning that it looked like there might be a storm coming.'
I don't know who Melly is. Perhaps she is Melly and she was talking to herself, or she is used to talking in the third person. I cannot help it, I take a step backwards. She advances. Urgh, not velly velly good at all.
'Where's himself then?' She peers about as though CG's dog might actually appear in mid air, the trickster. The Romulan dog that he is, uncloaking and giving us all a good laugh. Oh what fun, look I had him all along!
'I don't have him. He's not actually my dog. ' I remind her. 'I was just caring for him that week.'
'Poor thing, does he get out much at all?"
'I'm sure he does.' I take another step backwards and am dimayed to find I am close to the path ledge. If I step off it I will be in a small culvert that is filled with brackish water.
'They do love a good run, come hail or shine this old boy loves to go out.' She takes another step closer to me, I am sure I can smell what she had for breakfast and I can see she does not have teeth at the back. Oh dear god. I prepare to leap into the culvert, or push her in. The dog is old, I can take him.
'Yearp yearp yearp.'
The old dog has dropped his log and is doing that stiff legged semi-bounce old dogs do when they bark.
She turns to him. 'Oh now, hold on there misterman, I'll throw it for you.' She takes a step towards his log and as she does I slide past her.
'Well now!' I cry, for the sun has come out again, not really but it might as well have, 'I'd better keep moving, har, don't want to stiffen up! Take care, good to see you.'
'Oh' she turns back to where I was, but it is I who have mastered the Romulan cloaking trick, for I ain't there no more now am I?
'Cheerio!' I slap her-quite hard actually- on the shoulder, wink at the old dog and hightail it down the path. I don't look back and resolve to alter my running times.
Around the next corner I am confronted by an angry hissing swan. I don't invade its space at all, in fact I pretend I can't see it and eventually it stops flapping at me and we go about our merry ways.