06 August 2010

There are many secrets in the forest.

We were out in the forest and decided to look for a new path. It's a big forest. They're out there. Climbing faded trails in search of sunlight can sometimes be deceiving and lost making, but up we went anyways, off the beaten path that's frequented mostly by lycra suited mountain bikers and ipodded joggers in pink. All the joggers are always wearing pink. Our new path, more of a faint, long lost deer track, went straight up, and I could see a sun patch at the top.

Sometimes this is how I navigate in the forest, trying to climb up towards an open sun patch. Always try to get to the top. I try to remember turn left, turn right, so I can get back out, and notice the most distinctive of trees. Some days are good days for walking the same old road you know will end at the swimming hole, but other days are made for something completely new. I try to remember not to do this just hours before the sun goes, but this habit is just something I can't always stop.

The dogs were on their major forest running setting, speed turned up to 11, but in the interest of brilliance, I was calling them in frequently, and awarding those whiplash head turning runs back in with a little dog treat from my pocket. Sardines would have been nicer, but these are my pockets, people, and I'm running through the redwoods. My aesthetic doesn't support fish juices dripping from my trouser seat.

Through the clearing, dashing way ahead of me, Otterpop and Gustavo found it. A lean-to hovel shack, made of wood and tarp and some pieces of rug. It was short, enough room to lay down in I suppose, or walk if you were the size of a hobbit, and had a carpet chunk for a door, camouflaged into the bush with sticks and oak leaves and dirt.

Miss Manners tells us a great many things, but not about how one greets forest dwellers. Here is how I say etiquette in the forest works. Upon encountering forest dwellers who may have job descriptions such as down and out, heroin dealer, meth afficianado, old drunk hermit, or gun toting patch guarder, run away fast. People who are trying their best to remain invisible don't need ladies in stretch jeans and a manic pack of tiny dogs poking around in their yard. Which is also probably their bathroom.

Brilliant recall students, I know your dogs would never have considered popping their heads into a crumbling shack which may or may not have been inhabited by things that stink. Team Small Dog? Oh my. But I turned as fast as I could, and started running back down through the redwoods, quite sure that this was an excellent opportunity to scram. And sure not wanting to go back and drag anyone out of the mystery house. Due to potential mystery homeowners. Wishing now for a dripping sardine pocket.

I am running and wishing, wishing and running, that behind me are three, count 'em three, dogs following in fast pursuit. A betting person may have lain odds on this that were not in my favor. And there's no way to learn how to fix this problem now, since to join the Secret Order of the Brilliant Recall, Susan Garrett's students are all using the secret squirrel handshake to sign a NDA gag order in blood and the magic of the brilliant recall will forever be a secret to us.

I keep running, and a few seconds later, 3 little black dogs all came flying past me, running back down to the path and back towards the swimming hole. They won't have to live forever in a lean-to hovel shack wedged under a tree. And we all ran together except they all ran much faster, all the way back down to the river.