April: The Tale of a Shaggy Dog
When Art Garfunkel sang, "April, come she will, when streams are
ripe and swelled with rain", I wasn't sure if his lyrics were about
the month or a cuckoo, but as I'm writing this, there isn't a raindrop
on the weather chart to dampen the glorious exhibition of nature's mother-lode
of Cornish gold; zinging gorse, pastel primroses, elegant daffodils.
celandines and dandelions, all warming the post-winter landscape.
These cyphers of springtime in Cornwall signal
the changing season as newly-arrived swallows twitter and swoop for flies
and ducks nest on the island in the pond where 'Woody', my spaniel and I
were walking. Suddenly, head up, then nose down, he caught a scent and plunged
into the murky water. He reached the island, sniffing around in his snorting
spaniel way, decided there wasn't anything worth hanging around for, as
he launched back into the water, his ears became snarled in brambles and
he was well and truly entangled, thrashing and splashing and going nowhere.
He tried to doggy paddle himself free but after every effort of swimming
on the spot, reversed under the water.
Rescue seemed the only option. I had no
idea how deep the water would be and in my panic, it didn't occur to
me to take off my wellies or fleece. With every step my boots went deeper
into the mud, so I couldn't swim and with the water at boob level, I
realised I was vulnerable and more than a tad of 'I-should-have-thought
-about -this-first ' kicked in, all I could think of was...oops, as Woody
freed himself. He swam for the bank while I had to slurp myself out of
the mud by pulling on the reeds.
As Woody rushed around like a crazy thing, drying himself in the grass,
I shivered with boots full of water and had to drive home in just wet
knickers and a rolled up t-shirt... not a pretty sight!
So lessons to be learnt: if you want a pet, have a chihuahua/ gerbil/my
friend Jean's collie, Jools, anything that doesn't like water; failing
that, make sure your dog doesn't have Lawrence Llewellyn Bowens haircut.
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