Bacon on the Bookshelf

Savory picks for the free range reader

Pepper at the Beach

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On a cool autumn day at the beach, Pepper and I  walked alongside huge grey boulders possibly left by giants. Pep was intrigued. Enchanted even. She sensed that something lay beyond them – just out of view.

“No, Pepper,” I told her. “You can’t climb over the boulders. They are too big, and you are too small.”

She disagreed.

Once.

Twice.

Three times –  she tried. And failed.

I smoked a cigarette and waited.

“I can’t climb over the boulders,” Pep concluded.

“Of course you can’t,” I said, and we kept walking.

In time we came to a path that cut through the boulders. It was steep and ill-kept. But it was a path.

“Here, here!” Pep exclaimed. “I can get to the other side!”

“Yes, you could,” I agreed. “But for now, let’s keep walking.”

“Only because you insist, and I am on the leash,” Pep complained.

We came to another path, not as steep, but strewn with debris.

“Here, here!” Pep exclaimed. “I can get to the other side!”

“Yes, you could,” I agreed. “But for now, let’s keep walking.”

“Only because you insist, and I am on the leash,” Pep complained.

We came to a bramble patch

And a field of yellow wildflowers.

We came to a barren land

And a place where the sea met the sky.

A bird left a feather as a gift,

A mighty dragon left a toothpick,

And the king of the sea lay a soft carpet of green and purple at our feet.

Finally we went home on the well-worn path through the woods.

The cottage was hidden among old oaks, their branches dripping with Spanish moss. I brewed water for tea in the kettle and sat by the fire, Pepper at my feet. 

“Why didn’t we take one of the paths through the boulders, to see what was on the other side?” Pep asked. “I really wanted to,” she said, nuzzling her nose into my hand.

“We still had things to see on the path we were on,” I replied. 

(Didn’t we? And wasn’t it a very good path?)

*       *       *

*     *     *

I didn’t really smoke a cigarette. I just liked the way it sounded.

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