Thursday, 17 January 2013


Sometimes when I'm out walking with Skip the Dog it's easy to lose track of time and indeed my location.  I am wandering along the many woodland tracks and trails and my mind is also on the roam.  I should be considering the great issues of our age, like what to do about Palestine, but more than likely I'm thinking shallow stuff like what sort of cake I should bake and whether I've put the dishwasher on. Suddenly it'll occur to me that I don't actually know where I am and a prickle of panic will rise.  Not that I'm going to be so lost I can't find my way home, I don't walk fast so I can't have covered too much ground, however these trails and trees can all look the same.  Skip's no help - although he likes to lead out on the walk he has no clue where we're supposed to be going and when a 'junction' approaches he'll invariably find something really interesting on the ground that requires his detailed investigation.  Once I've turned left or right he'll then rush forward again to take up his default pacesetter position. 

One such evening, I found myself adrift in the wood as the sun was going down.  Suddenly, the benign forest took on an eerier feel, there was the screech of a buzzard overhead and we heard a mystery animal crash through the undergrowth a little way off.  Skip thought about giving chase but then looked at me with a 'WTF was that?' expression and we drew close.  I stopped and tried to get my bearings, then decided the best thing to do would be to head for the fast fading light.  I quickened my pace and stomped through the bush, brambles snagging my progress as we blazed a trail to who knew where?  After a couple of minutes I thought I caught a glimpse of a clearing ahead and then we tumbled out of the forest right onto the bank of the lake at Woodsman's cabin.  I was amazed at how I could have been so close to home and yet apparently so lost and was relieved to be back on familiar territory.  Skip ran on ahead as though he'd known the way all along and had bravely led us to salvation and we trundled off home through the gathering gloom.

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