Monday, 5 August 2019

With my left walking boot, I kick a dead mouse into the hedge.
Crossing a woman, she asks: “What was that on the footpath?”
“A mice”, I reply… “A mouse”, I correct immediately, thinking how silly it sounds, mixing up plural and singular. “A mouse, only one”, I stress again, smiling.
“Is it dead?” the woman wonders.
I go back, kick it again and confirm: “Really dead and really drowned.”
“Probably a cat got it”, says the woman.
I don’t see a sign of a brutal attack. “Poor thing”, I reply.
The woman is a bit puzzled… “You walked far today?” she asks.
“From Edmondthorpe, through the fields”, I say. “I was nice.”
“Oh gosh, that is quite far”, the woman says. Looking at my legs, she adds: “You probably walk fast?”
“Not so…”, I reply, and add joking: “but the long legs help.”
“I am still struggling with my new knee”, the woman says. “I need to exercise a lot, to get along. But it is better than the old knee.”
“That is the spirit”, I reply.
“I have to go along”, the woman says. “Hurry, before the rain is coming. Your newspaper is getting wet.”
“No worries”, I answer, “it will dry. Have a nice day!”
“And you”, the woman says.