Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Be Curious

“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.”

J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings
The dog poked its head beyond the threshhold of the glass windows and wood of the front door and the tangy scent of lemon, dust and porcelain plates, dotted with gardens and dancing girls. 
Beyond the threshhold sat a bike with a wire basket, peoples' feet tumbled forward like the rapids of the River Cam, some way outside the town. People hurried upwards and downwards. 
Few stopped. 
Mostly, these few frozen individuals had tunnel vision for mobiles and maps only. A pidgeon could have sat on their heads and they wouldn't have had a care.  

It was terrifying. But the dog couldn't help looking. So many sounds and smells. Pasties and pies, bicycle bells and school-boys. Vegetables in baskets and voices braying. The dog loved going out on market days, but his human didn't much like to anymore. Walking hurt, he'd said just this morning.

A huge truck rumbled past then. The dog wondered from where it came. If the grubby capped human inside the machine had a dog. Or maybe a dancing lady. The dog wanted to meet one of the dancing ladies that were on the porcelain plates in the shop. His human used to dance to loud music.

Uncounted minutes past as the dog continued to look back and forth, as if following a tennis match. Humans absolutely everywhere. Big, tall, small, skinny, round, straight, wavy. They all couldn't fit in the town could they? The dog wondered. They did move ever so fast though. Never stopped. Except when they bumped into each other. They never stopped to talk to the dog either.

Except for one. 

This human came rolling toward the dog as quick as any other, except their strides were long and languid rather than seconds from a jog. The human paused upon coming up beside the shop, bent down, smiled, and said, 

"You're a true keepsake, you are. Worth more than all the plates in the world." 

The dog yipped as the human patted its white head.

"Have an adventure for me," said the stranger tipping their tweed cap. "The world is curiously big."  

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