October 17, 2014: By the Water’s Edge with Mr. Straight and Mr. Lean

Yesterday was a rainy day, too wet to work in the gardens. Between showers, the dog and I walked to the Narrows, beautiful in any weather. On the way to the Narrows, I saw a stick studded with some kind of fungi. Unfortunately, I am very ignorant when it comes to identifying fungi, but I loved the pattern of the tan on the dark stick. Also, I liked how the leaves complemented the color of the fungi.

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At the Narrows, the bright leaves punctuated the gray sky and water. This time, it was the contrast that caught my attention.

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We stayed at the Narrows for a little while, admiring the gray water and bright leaves. On the way back, I saw more fungi, this time on dead trees by the water’s edge.

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Then, my fanciful side took over. The fungi reminded me of noses, and I imagined that the trees weren’t dead at all. In fact, they were sentinels—Mr. Straight and Mr. Lean—standing guard over a watery kingdom, and they were at the ready to sniff out danger.

“Who goes there?,” I imagined Mr. Straight asking, as the nostrils flared in the various noses.

“I smells a dog.  ‘e’s not far off.” Mr. Lean added. “And a ‘uman as well.”

“We’re friends,” I said. “We mean you no harm.”

By now all the nostrils were flaring, but I could see them relax as they sniffed out the truth.

“Well, go on with you then.”

Now why in the world did these Maine sentinels have a Cockney accent? Too much British television, too many English fantasy novels. No, instead the exchange should have gone something like this.

“Who’s that going by?” Mr. Straight asked. “I smell a dog and a human.”

“Ayuh,” Mr. Lean replied. “What are you doing heeya, sistah? You and that dog?”

“We’re just walking,” I answered. “And looking at the water.”

“Well, make sure that’s all you do,” Mr. Lean said.

“We don’t want no funny business around heeya,” Mr. Straight put in.

“No funny business,” I promised.

“Well, all right then.”

The dog and I passed the sentinels and walked home. Just as we got inside, it started pouring. What good timing!

And I thought of Mr. Straight and Mr. Lean down by the Lower Narrows, guarding the water from any funny business.

 

 

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