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Sunday Morning Rituals

Sunday Morning RitualsThe little guy strains against his harness, waiting for me to get a firm grip and enough slack on his lead before I can release him. He's off like a shot, his tail standing straight up as he zooms through the two segments of concrete pipe in the middle of the park in a figure of eight pattern.

Malamute has long since figured out Husky's ritual of water pipe weaving and now waits at the end for him to appear so she can hammer him. A scruff to the neck and some growling later and it's time to play chase along the perimeter of the dog exercise area.

As the chasing winds down, a more sedate investigation of the surroundings takes place. I watch as Malamute christens the kopper log uprights of the surrounding fence and any interesting clumps of grass. Husky follows in her wake, seeing her pee and raising it, in a game of canine brinkmanship.

The seats are still wet with overnight moisture, so I walk across to the concrete pipes and lay along the length of one. The concrete is cool against my back and I place my battered straw cowboy hat over my face to shield me from the morning sun.

Closing my eyes, I listen to the birds in the surrounding bushland. A kookaburra, known to all by its laugh that featured in the sound loops of many an old Tarzan movie. A whipbird's sweet, high-pitched, cracking call. The playful carolling of magpies, and the crystal clarity of a bellbird. A raven caws loudly, the call picked up and echoed by other ravens throughout the area.

A large truck rumbles by on the nearby motorway, the sound barriers block most traffic noise, but not the larger vehicles as they travel over the joins in the elevated roadway. The angry buzz of a helicopter, out with either joy flight passengers or student pilots, passes overhead as it loops over the large reserve and circles back to the local aerodrome. If the wind is right I can hear snatches of amplified announcements from the railway station a few kilometres away.

Husky's wet nose in my ear and gentle kisses, tell me that it's time to head back. I get up and clip his lead on before leaving the enclosed area and take a meandering walk back to the car.

Sometimes we walk up and back along the entrance road, where thousands of unseen cicadas sing in the tall eucalypts at a deafening level. But today we walk along the edge of the open field, Husky sniffing the dried, yellow tussocks of grass and chasing small grasshoppers in the shade of the pines that grow along the creek's edges.

On warmer days, the dogs aren't allowed to venture into the bushland for fear of snakes, we saw a red-bellied black snake sunning itself by the picnic tables a few weeks back.

But it's a cooler day, so I can let Husky bound into the grass in his lizard hunting game. He leaps in the air like a Springbok to launch himself head first into the undergrowth. The lizards have enough cover to be in little danger of capture, and the rabbits have departed for places of safety for the day, leaving only their droppings as evidence of their passing.

Tiny mud crabs at the creek's edge interest Husky, he's torn between wanting to dig them out or throw himself bodily into the water. I'm not having either unless he plans on walking home in all his wet, muddy splendour.

The picnic area by the creek edge leads back to where the car is parked. Water bottles are stowed in the boot and a towel produced, to dry damp paws, before furry bodies pile into the back seat. Another Sunday morning visit to the dog run is at an end.


30minutemusechallenge #2: setting
Part of the Pod!verse