Friday, February 17, 2006

Two Dogs in a Park

Two dogs meet in a park in Jerusalem one Friday afternoon. One is big, one is small. The small one seems unaware of the approach of the big dog and his master; she stands by her master, relaxed. Unworried. The big dog comes up warily, standing on a slight ramp above an oval of grass where the small dog sits, and then stands still – comically, both dogs now stare in the same direction for a few moments, drawing out mirthful exclamation from their owners. Then, the small dog moves from her position and the big dog jumps down to the grass from his vantage point, sniffing the ground from whence the small dog ventured.

The small dog turns around, no doubt having smelled the big dog the whole time, and makes her way to the big dog. Noses of the two dogs meet; then inspections of respective neck areas follow. Finally comes the butt-sniffing, and when the small female dog sniffs big male dog's rear a little too enthusiastically and repeatedly as they pace in a circle, the male dog suddenly jumps back onto the ramp where he stood before. Small dog does not follow. Owners move to collect their dogs after the meeting, and life goes on.

And there I stood, observing this rendez-vous, at a park near my apartment in Jerusalem with my hands full of groceries on a Friday afternoon, February 17, 2006. The last vestiges of a powerful hangover from the previous evening's birthday celebrations were barely felt at this moment, and I could only smile and laugh to myself as I witnessed that meeting of canine proportions; I then walked off to finish a couple of more errands as Jerusalem readied herself for the virtual shut down that is the Sabbath.

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