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Our Park 
....      "Wuff!" I said politely. One is expected to act in a civil manner in the most beautiful Park in town. A sort of heaven, really. Or as close to one as we are likely to get while still here. Here and now, that is. Many cites have beautiful parks, but the Mount Royal sets Montreal in a class of it's own. They say that from the top you can actually see heaven. Or the USA, or something. 
     She was a really beautiful bitch. Golden retriever, just like me, only she was pure gold. And those eyes! She turned them away the moment she saw me, but in that single instant I knew that fate brought us together for a purpose. Things like this only happen once in a blue moon. And we are not allowed to walk the Mountain during the night. Figure....
     "Wuff-woof!" I repeated adding a hint of Westmout accent. I didn't want to be pushy, but, well, I already told you. The blue moon and all that. I had to take my chances. 
     And then, as George, my lord and master, attempted to change the retractable leash from one hand to another, with a single leap I managed to disappear into the bushes. George run after me, but, let's face it, he had no chance. I knew he'd feel guilty about inadvertently granting me my freedom. Strictly against the law. Human law. Arff, to the human law. I wasn't going to do anyone any harm. I've been around.

     Anyway, it worked. Pretending that she was helping George to look for me the almond-eyed beauty took after me. In no time at all we were half-a-mile away, sitting almost side by side, on a flat piece of rock. She pretended that she'd found herself next to me quite by accident. I gave her the once... maybe the-twice-over. Then I rose elegantly from my haunches and strolled to the nearest tree. I managed to squeeze out a few drops. For a moment she ignored me. Then, looking away, she followed my footsteps. When I first got a whiff of her scent, my head spun. This was heaven all right. 
     "We really should go back, you know," she said at last. 
     "What's your name?" I countered. 
     Her long eyelashes once again trembled in the shimmering light, then lowered over her eyes as though examining her toes. I'd swear her nails have been manicured. "I am called Brandy," she wooffed hardly above a whisper. She was so shy it came out as Blantee. To George it would sound like just another "bwuff", but to me it was the sweetest sound I've heard since George said "it's stake-time!" 
     But that wasn't really the point. Fate has a way of bringing together what was meant to be together.
     "I am Cognac!" I said proudly giving my tail a swashbuckling swing. 
     "That's not funny," she said. 
     "Really!" I assured her displaying my collar. "Cognac as in Grand Champagne." 
     "I'm just... Brandy," she yelped softly. She sounded crestfallen. 
     "It's the most beautiful name I've ever heard!" I assured her. 
     "Really?" This was closer to a plaintive howl. 
     Dames are all the same. You throw them a bit of flattery and they lap it up. I need a good-sized bone before I'll wag my tail. When I wasn't picking up dames, that is. But she was beautiful. I mean, really. 
     Cripes! I've spent so much time with George lately I clean forgot that we - my species - could read each other's thoughts. She must have tuned in on my subliminal stream. There is another great advantage we have over George and his kind. We can't blush. Otherwise... Hey, how come I wasn't reading her thoughts? 
     "Race you to that hill!" 
     I was right. She'd read my thoughts before I actually said them and was off before I moved a leg. And what a runner she was! Why, she hardly touched the ground! She beat me by half a length. Of course, I would have won if it hadn't been for the retractable leash that didn't quite retract. Anyway, as she pulled up, I couldn't stop in time. I bumped into her. Her silken fur rubbed against my neck. I swear it was an accident. 
     "Sorry!" I wooffed over my shoulder. 
     "Are you?" 
     This dame was hot. Blood rushed to my head, then drained to the tip of my tail. I felt weak. Like a teenager on his first date. Then I remembered what my father told me. "Son," he'd said. I was only a runt then. "Remember, when you think with your balls, you can't read anyone's thoughts!" Then as now, I panted in confusion. How come dames are so much cooler than us? We are supposed to be the strong-silent ones. 
     Finally I gathered enough courage to look at her again. This time she did not turn her eyes away. I thought I detected amusement in her gaze. Her tail was marking time like a metronome. I wondered if she knew about the problem we, machos, suffer from. Thinking-wise. I bet we could smell better, though. Right then, I would have bet my evening Alpo I could smell her excitement. I was still panting but was ready to propose another race - you know, just to try and beat her - when we both heard George talking to someone. 
     "It is she," Brandy wooffed softly. She licked her front paw. She wasn't even out of breath. Must have done a lot more running than I. 
     "Jenny. My Lady. I bring her for runs every Sunday. She's quite good." 
     "You mean you run together every week?" 
     "Sometimes also in the evening. Mount Royal is really beautiful around sunset." 
     "Every week...? My mind was working overtime. If Brandy and what's-her-name come here every Sunday, all I had to do was to make George take up jogging and I'll have it made. Holy Canine! To meet Brandy every week...
     "It would be nice, wouldn't it," she threw over her shoulder. 
     I've done it again. She was reading me like an open book. Then I swallowed hard and took the bull by the horns. Or something like that. 
     "Would you consider..." 
     "Duck!" she let out a silent yelp as she leapt behind the bushes. I heard her. I heard her silent yelp! 
     I've never seen a duck but I ducked. George just never went hunting. Before I had a chance to think I followed her like an obedient puppy. That was not the way it was supposed to unfold. I was supposed to be the one giving orders. On the other hand, walking behind her I could smell her tail. I'm not stupid! 
     One whiff and I forgave her. For having faster reactions, I mean. 
     On the pathway winding its way through the thick bushy undergrowth, a couple emerged chatting nineteen-to-a-dozen. You've guessed it. George was huffing and puffing, doing his best to keep up with Jenny, who was prancing like a ten-year-old. Brandy was right. Jenny must have been running every week. She was slim, sun-kissed and, for a human, her hair was quite beautiful. It matched Brandy's only it was longer, of course. They didn't seem that worried about the two of us taking off. For a moment, I actually felt hurt. George should have worried about me. I could have gotten lost, or something. I never would, of course, but he should have worried anyway. 
     "How do you like her?" Brandy was at my side. 
     "Jenny? She's all right." 
     "I think she's beautiful." 
     Not half as beautiful as you... It was too late. She'd read me again. 
     "George is damn good looking," I countered trying to cover my embarrassment. And anyway, he was my George, and when I didn't make life hell for him, I liked him a lot. I mean he was my best friend. 
     "He really goes for Jenny," Brandy didn't say it, she just thought it aloud. That's a different kind of thinking. It's thinking with emotions. Such thoughts I could read anytime. Hormones notwithstanding. 
     And then it struck me. 
     George and I have been walking the Mount Royal on Sundays since early April. He didn't run, of course, not my dear George. Don't get me wrong. He isn't fat or anything, but if he were to shed some twenty pounds, it wouldn't hurt him either. And now that I think about it, I could swear that I had seen someone very much like Brandy before, only from a distance. They'd jogged past us... The problem is that seeing is not the same as smelling. Try it. 
     Brandy was busy grooming her legs, her ears and whatever it is that girls groom in the park. I knew she was listening. I am a quick study and she'd listened in to my thoughts before. 
     "I thought it would do George some good if they met," she said meekly. "He could loose a pound or two." 
     "He's just fine the way he is," I don't like being manipulated. 
     "B-but... but..." 
    Brandy stretched on the grass, all fours up, scratching her back. What could a fellow do? She was the most gorgeous bitch I've ever seen. Who cares if George falls for Jenny or the other way round, as long as they start jogging together. It wouldn't do me any harm either. And what if it was Brandy who thought of it first? So she was beautiful and smart.
     Well, I was stronger. 
     And so was George. 
     George and I could take care of Brandy and Jenny in any Park. Even on the Mount Royal, after dark. It may be illegal, but... when the moon is blue...
     "Cognac!" she was looking at me with those fantastic eyes. "You've been dreaming again." Then she looked behind her. "They went that way," she said. "Shouldn't we follow them?" 
     "Of course!" I took over immediately. After all, someone had to look after George. And Jenny, of course. Something told me that Brandy would be pretty good at looking after herself. 
"This way," I said. I was myself again. She followed two paces behind me. 

     They were sitting on the grassy slope overlooking Pine Avenue. George was still talking; Jenny was still looking good, her sparkling eyes competing with the shimmering light filtering between the leaves. She really did have beautiful hair. Like a bunch of ripe chestnuts caught in early morning sunshine. Like Brandy's. 
     "Have you noticed," Brandy sounded coy, "that our car is parked just behind yours?" 
     "The world is full of coincidences," I assured her gravely. I had no idea what Jenny's car looked like. 
     "It certainly is," Brandy agreed. But she couldn't hide the grin that parted her beautiful jaws. And her tail was again working overtime. 

     "Ah, there you are!" 
     At long last they both noticed us. We've been sitting behind them stretching our bones for quite a while. Jenny continued to smile as though sharing some secret thought with Brandy. George got up and pulled Jenny up. 
     "See you next Sunday, then," he said, "if you promise to take it easy. I really haven't jogged for years," he added. 
     "And then some..." I detected Brandy's emotive thought as she glanced at my George. I gave her a dirty look but she ignored me. She was now preoccupied with Jenny. Bitches are like that. They stick together. Look after each other. Or... just then I caught Brandy's eye. Would you believe? She was laughing at me! Her tongue hanging out like there was no tomorrow....

     Then Jenny shook George's hand and we all made for our respective cars. 
     As Brandy jumped into the back of Jenny's Pontiac, I just detected her emotive thought, this time directed at Jenny. "I think we got them, don't you?" she said silently. 
     Jenny appeared to understand Brandy quite clearly. "We most certainly have," she replied, hardly above a whisper. "We most certainly have." And she stuck her own tongue at Brandy. Would you believe it? 
     I had no idea what the two girls were talking about, but somehow I began looking forward to next Sunday with renewed interest. 

Stan I.S. Law (a.k.a. Stanislaw Kapuscinski)



Stanisław Kapuściński (aka Stan I.S. Law) - writer-architect-sculptor. Was educated in Poland and England. Since 1965 he has resided in Canada. His special interests cover a broad spectrum of arts, sciences and philosophy. His fiction and non-fiction attest to his particular passion for the scope and the development of Human Potential. He authored more than forty books, twenty of them novels. Under his real name he published twelve non-fiction books sharing his vision of reality. http://stanlaw.ca (Montreal)

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