Tuesday, January 7, 2020
'The Font' and Sophie head off in the car for a lengthy power walk round the lake. Angus is left at home to recuperate.
Mid morning something makes Angus put down his book and head outside. There at the front gate is village dog. Village dog, I think, lives with his master and an undetermined number of other dogs in a farm by the water tower. His heavy smoking mistress passed away a year or two ago. Neither his master, nor he, venture into the village often. I've seen them, usually from a distance, half a dozen or so times en route with flowers for her grave.
The visitor has pushed his muzzle and a paw through the bars and is resting his chin on the gate panel. This makes me laugh. He has the look of a dog on a mission. How long he's been standing there is anyones guess. He's in no hurry to move.
We chat. Village dog acts as though he's talking to an old friend. No shyness here. Angus puts on a coat and hat and tells him we'll go for a walk . ' Nothing too fast ' I find myself saying out loud in that daft way some dog people do. Black dog beams. This is clearly what he wanted to happen. Let it never be said that dogs don't smile .... or understand.
Off to the village hall. Lamp posts christened en route. The small yews at the corner of the war memorial sniffed and appraised. Something gelatinous found under the lime tree and rolled in. Having being rolled in once it is rolled in again. Simple pleasures should not be rationed.
My companion runs ahead. He stands and drinks from the storm drain, hind legs high on the bank, front legs way down in the ditch. An improbable position for an animal to adopt. He slurps then burps. He looks up as if to say ' This waters great . You should try it '. At this very moment he sees two cats and in a spirit of adventurous and unconstrained bravado bounds off after them. The cats disappear down the lane followed by a pursuer whose enthusiasm exceeds his hunting skill. The cats go left. He goes right. A small detail in the greater scheme of things. He is an inelegant runner. More of a lolloper than a sprinter.
After a few minutes he's back radiating a ' this boy done good ' satisfaction. I sit on the bench by the church. My new found companion positions himself on the grass opposite and stares at me. The unspoken question ' What are WE going to do now ? '. I find a rice cake in my pocket. He accepts it with tail wagging gratitude.
We discuss world affairs. When the conversation turns to Mike Pompeos decision not to seek a Kansas Senate seat he decides it's time to go. Patience has its limits. He wanders over, puts his chin on my knee, swallows three times then heads off. By the church he stops, turns and looks back. ' I'll be coming by to check on you soon. Perhaps you might think about biscuits ? ' And so off he goes.
Just an interlude in the life of a French village where nothing ever happens. One of those things, too inconsequential for a diary but recorded here because small events like this make life, life.