I’ve noticed multiple times something of which I’d like to share with you. We’ll be riding down the road and an approaching car will have their windows down. As they pass I’ll notice a fellow canine hanging his head out of the window, ears flapping in the breeze. This friend’s lips are fluttering as they attempt to maintain the curve of a grin. Yes, these are the lucky ones who get to stick their heads out into the oncoming wind.
When I was a young lad, James let me ride in the front seat with him. Well, not in his lap, but in the seat across from him. Still, he never rolled down the windows while we were moving. He told me, but at the time I didn’t quite understand, that it was a dangerous thing to do. Even the tiniest bug could put one of my eyes out if it slammed into me while we were traveling at fifty plus miles an hour with my head hanging out the window. Still, I must admit, it looks like tons of fun.
Of course, there was a time when I didn’t know the wind existed. It never seemed to mean anything to me. Then one day while James and I were hanging around outside, he reading and me playing, I began hearing noises. These were sounds I never heard before. James said they were always there, but I never paid them any attention.
Regardless, I finally heard them. They were speaking a strange language, like the language James was speaking at the time that I now understand. It didn’t make any sense to me. Also, I didn’t know where or who they were. I kept looking over at James to see if he heard them too. He kept his nose in the book he was reading, so I figured he wasn’t able to hear them.
Suddenly, in the distance, the bushes and trees began twitching. Something was about to bound out of them. I moseyed over beside James, hoping he could scare whatever it was away. If not, at least pick me up and run into the house. When nothing came out of the shrubs, and James quit petting me, the rumbling they were making stopped as well.
Now, I’m not saying I was always afraid. Still, I do have to admit that when I didn’t know what something was, I depended upon James to protect me or, at the least, to let me know what it is. When the racket in the wilds started up again, I once more leaned in-between James’ legs. He finally figured that I was worried about the movement happening behind the shrubberies.
It was then he informed me that it was nothing to worry about – easy for him to say. It was only the wind. Well, not understanding what he was talking about, much less would I have known what the wind was even if I could have understood him, my imagination began thinking it might be a huge animal come to eat me. Perhaps there was a mean Doberman, like the one at the breeders of whom I was in constant fear. As I pressed firmly into his leg, James got the message. He picked me up and tried to explain about the wind.
It seemed odd to me now that the very thing that made my fellow pooches enjoy sticking their head out the car window was making we anxious. After calming down from being in James’ arms, he held me in such a manner that I got the message that it was okay to worry about the rustling of branches. It could very well be another animal or human. Being on ones guard is a good thing. Yeah. That’s what I was doing. Being on my guard.
There’s a poem James wrote about my experience with the wind. This particular poem, like most of James’ writing, has seen different iterations. Here it is in its current form for your reading pleasure:
you casually move your head side-to-side
as if watching a tennis match
unsure of the sound
as it doesn’t resemble a ball or racket
yet aware of a difference
having never taken notice before
tilting your head sideways
it gently whispers in your upturned ear
words only you can understand
or perhaps not
desiring to discern their meaning
as you pensively ponder what it is saying
there is a distraction
a falling leaf to which
you move to investigate
having forgotten about
the hubbub above
the foliage smells
of the passage of time
and before long you are
enquiring of the murmurs
some spoken in hushed tones
others squeaking louder
unexpectedly you cause your own mutter
which surprises and
causes you to eventually turn
and sniff behind you
which for some reason
you find pleasing
off in the distance
you notice the rattling
of the bush branches
but not what
is making them move
rearing back in anticipation
of the unknown
yet to be seen
perhaps an imaginary beast
bringing a rising dread
as you move closer
leaning into me
it is nothing for you to fear
my dear little friend Ollie
but a cool breeze
as it blows through the trees
and then you are off like a rocket
after the golden
autumn has brought with it
the enthusiasm of the chase
and the ecstasy you discover
in the rambling crusty piles of leaves
and this is what the uttering gusts were saying
nature bestows wonders to behold
for your enjoyment and fun
so live fully in the brief time you have
grasp each moment
relish every opportunity
you are but twenty-one weeks
and have a long yet short span
in which to treasure them all
I can’t believe James left in the part about my flatulence. That is so embarrassing. It must be because he thinks it’s cute. Well, perhaps it is funny – a little. Okay, I used to find it humiliating, but now I laugh each time I read that part. I hope others find it refreshing – pun intended. (Score! A treat for me.)
A gust of air is one of those things that can change how I perceive the world. When blowing in the right direction, I can smell another animal or animal product. Otherwise, I might run right by it. Also, it can lead me to believe something or someone is hiding in the brush. The wind can be tricky.
One has to watch out for the breeze. It can blow even James off his feet. Yet it can also be revitalizing on a hot summer day. For instance, while sitting in the shade when a draft blows by is as if I’ve jumped into a cool pond or lake. With my long hair, believe me, I know a thing or two about shade and wafts of wind.
Come back in two weeks and hear about my teeth. They were forever nibbling and biting when I was a puppy. James even has a picture of one of my molars. We hope to see you then.
Speaking of hope, we hope you’re enjoying reading about my first year and the different poems James wrote. If so, let us know in the comment section below. I always like to hear from you, so please feel free to leave me a note about this or anything else that’s on your mind.
Until next time,
Sir Oliver of Skygate Farm (you can call me Ollie)