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