Noises Off

The Geese at the far end of the reservoir are doing an avian impression of that scene from Harry met Sally. They are noisy and loud and their grunting honking is the soundtrack for the rest of the walk.

We stop on the hillside and I dig deep into the bag to get out the plastic green sticks for the dogs. The Gabster thinks that there maybe biscuits and is bouncing excitedly up and down and trying too stick her nose in. I brush her off. At the sight of the stick Lilly rolls her eyes and races up the hill before spinning round and lying in that prone expectant Collie position. She is coiled ready to erupt when I launch the stick into the bright warm sunny spring sky.

The woodland birds are deep into their joyful mid morning chorus. Boasting of their nesting success and their partners singing to anyone who will listen. A couple of pigeons fly towards me, and then think better of it and swerve away and seek the cover of the woods.

I launch the stick.

Lilly bounds up the hillside and catches it on the bounce. Then she throws it to the ground and begins to bury it under a covering of ripped up grasses.

The Gabster stalks me hoping for treats. I relent and throw a handful into the grass and she leaps forward nose to the ground making little snuffling and grunting noises as she hoovers up the kibble.

By the reservoir shore a fly fisherman casually casts his line across the water. A couple with a small dog watch him. They want to talk to him to chat about the weather, whether he has caught anything. He studiously ignores them, focused solely on casting his fly.

I turn to see what Lilly is doing. She is still trying to bury the stick and there is a manic slightly deranged feel to the way she rips up the grass and flings it onto a close to the stick. I call her and she ignores me.

The woods fall silent. Apart that is from a wren alarming. I tense. The sun is hidden behind the clouds. It has got colder. The wren is still alarming but whatever it was that was bothering the birds in the wood has gone and the singing, the boasting and the bragging starts up again.

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