Lost in a fog
I’ve been treated like a dog
And I’m out of here.
‘Headshrinker,’ by Oasis
There is something inexplicably mystical and yet, unerringly beautiful about a morning sun burning through wet mist.
I cannot remember which day it was last week, but when I arose and wiped the sleep from my eyes and stepped outside, it was like walking into a health spa.
Shafts of eastern promise slanted through the trees, each bean illuminating the swirling liquid quality of the mist, which for the most part, lay about the land like a balm of refreshment.
The sight stopped me in my tracks and had my phone not been lacking in juice at that very moment, I might have spent a few minutes trying to capture the magical scene for posterity’s enjoyment. As it was though, I merely stood and stared at the eddying mist and the incremental escalation of our nearest star and how its light knifed through the hawthorns and alders and willow.
“What do you think, Waffle?” I asked of the Hound who, at that moment, was adding his own personal stream of steam into the prevailing misty conditions. “I hope you’re going to wash your hands after that,” I added to his blank face.
The morning that it was, after Waffle had attended to his widdle, we stepped down the road a piece, soaking up – quite literally – the freshness of the misty morning, as well as the scent of wet earth and the frisson of not-yet-awakened souls.
That’s the other thing about being abroad on a fine morning: That sense of being perhaps the only awakened human in that place and at that time. There is a quiet beauty about the dawn, as if world is holding its very breath ahead of the impending day.
“What do you think, wee Waffie?” I asked of the Hound who, at that moment, had decided to adopt his sumo position, a sight which didn’t really add to the quiet morning charm.
Rolling my eyes, on I strolled, momentarily holding my breath lest I became assailed by the Waff’s slow toilet.
It was mere moments later when I turned to make sure that the His Hairyness was following, that I realised he had disappeared.
Conscious that it was still very early and that most, if not all of the world, were still pushing out big Zs, I bided my time and refrained from calling out for Mr Disappearing Act. There always exists, at times like these, the possibility that Waffe has discovered a dead badger or worse still, deadly badger dung and has taken to rolling around in the noxious mess. There is also the possibility that he has taken off cross country into bogs and mires and manure pits or, God forbid, he might have discovered the remnants of a discarded take-away which he would then devour only to spew up round the house at his later convenience.
Aware of all of these possibilities but still aware that it was too early to start roaring for the woebegone fool, I held my own counsel and scanned the pea soup mist. I scanned here, I scanned there but he wasn’t to be found. The mist was still too thick.
Half an hour later I was back at the house still bereft of Hateful Hound.
“Where’s Waffie?” one of the little humans asked.
“Lost in the mist,” I replied off-hand.
“Well, you better find him.”
“It’s not my fault he disappeared.”
“Who let him out?”
“What so you mean, ‘Hm?’”
Half an hour later the various members of the clan had all been dispatched to their various places of toil whilst I, the culpable one, remained working at home, still bereft of Hateful Hound.
“Good luck to you, clown,” I told an empty house. “It’s not my fault you’ve been dog-knapped.”
And yet, I couldn’t shake the feel that all hell was going to break loose when the various members of the clan returned from their respective toils.
Ten o’clock rolled into eleven o’clock rolled into 12 o’clock and still the hairy fool hadn’t returned. It wasn’t that I was worried exactly, seeing as how rage was superseding concern.
Then one o’clock wore around and the Fear descended.
“I’ll take lunch and then I’ll go and hunt for the fool,” I told the empty house.
By this stage of course, the beautifully misty morning was all but a memory and the thought of my earlier joi de vivre being spoiled by the hairy fool threatened to once again trump concern.
Rage fighting with fear, I opened the back door in case he would return and I went to make a samswitcher (ham and coleslaw, just in case you were wondering).
Settling down at the kitchen table to eat the lunch, I flattened out the paper to read the news. Taking a first bite out of my sarnie, it was then that something brushed up against my leg under the table. Knowing that Waffle was AWOL and I was alone in an empty house, I don’t mind admitting, this under-table brushing of the leg came as quite the shock. It was such a shock in fact, I may have tossed my glass of milk and nearly choked on the bread, as I leapt back from the table in fright.
You can guess where this is going, of course. The hairy fool himself then slunk out from underneath the table and trotted off without a backward glance. Miraculously, he didn’t appear any worse for wear for his his morning in absentia; he didn’t even appear wet. He must have crept in through the open door as I was fixing my lunchables.
“Nice to see you too,” I mumbled around my sandwich.
Waffle then jumped up onto the sofa, rolled onto his back and closed his eyes, a position he maintained for the entirety of the day – a picture of abject contentment which even my inner rage was reluctant to spoil. His contentment was almost as beautiful as the mystical morning just past.
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