Tricks, new and old.

Joe stood staring out at the sea. He was an upright weather beaten man in his late seventies. The large shaggy dog sat at his side.

Joe’s sadness stretched out and down into the depths of the sea, his school friend Larry had died two days ago. It was a fine funeral.

Joe wished he knew if there was something after this life. He would discover the truth sooner rather than later. He grinned remembering long hours spent debating the what if’s of the whole matter, while perched on their regular high stools. We enjoyed the debate, even if we never came to a concrete decision. He shook his head, now they would never debate anything again.

A bird flew low heading inland to it’s nest.

“We should do the same Rigsby”, he said, “but it won’t matter much if we take a bit more time. It’s nice out here.”

His eyes met the dog’s solemn stare, “raw and wild, the way life should be, not confined by rules we are afraid to step beyond.”

Joe chuckled remembering the way he could never colour within the given lines as a child. A talent he carried with him throughout his teenage years and into adulthood.

“Hard to teach an old dog new tricks,” he said as the dog nuzzled his hand. “But I’ve been told I have to conform, behave rather than indulge in whims, or wild and fanciful moments.”  He had spent the last six months behaving in a manner befitting his age while he stayed by Larry’s side.

“Boring, awful depressing stuff,” he muttered.  “But today we escaped our minders,”

Laura had been fussing about him going to a funeral, standing about in the cold. “You might catch something, Dad,” she scolded.

“Wouldn’t that be something! Imagine catching anything at my age,” he replied. He felt guilty at having given her the slip, she would worry and he’d hear all about it when she caught up with him.

He reckoned they had a good hour yet. ‘What would you do Larry if you were here with me?” He grinned as the sun switched its power on him.

He could hear his friend say, “Why Joe, I’d dive in, go for a swim, enjoy meself isn’t that what truly matters? Live for the moment.”

‘What the hell, you are right Larry. Let’s celebrate the fact that I am here,’ he chuckled as he pulled off his shoes and socks. “Come on Rigsby, let’s live!”

When the gentle ‘woof’ of approval was given together man and dog went for a paddle.

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