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Roller Blades

by David Yehudah, Bellflower, CA, USA


Patty just got her a set of roller blades for exercise=good idea. She doesn't know how to skate; never been. There is a huge, wide concrete oval in the park for skating=maybe. She decided to let Mac do all the work=very bad idea.

I went with them to the park and sat myself down on a bench to watch. Patty got a firm grip on Mac's leash, and he began slowly towing her around the park. Okay so far.

In the manner of all dachshunds Mac is low-slung and not very big. But his little stubby legs are surprisingly powerful. In a short while he was trotting along at a pretty good pace, and Patty was no longer going "Wheee!" every few seconds. Her jaw was set in grim determination; her face had gone pasty white.

The inevitable happened; remember, this is a city park with big trees and squirrels; lots of squirrels, some of whom consider the park home. They don't take kindly to trespassers. Suddenly one of the little hairy varmint critters darted out in front of Mac and began scampering along just out of reach. Mac ran faster and pulled harder, and the bushy-tailed rodent stayed just barely out of reach. Mac started barking and Patty started yelling. At that distance I couldn't hear exactly what she was saying, but the words. . .no, I better not, this being a family venue and all. But it was all about Mac.

Mac didn't care; he could just almost reach that darn squirrel, but no matter how hard he tried, it stayed just ahead of him. At one time Patty lost her balance and almost went down. It took me a moment to realize what she was doing. When she raised one foot in the air and started windmilling her free arm so fast it was just a blur, I thought she was showing off. I recall wishing she wouldn't do that until she learned to skate better. Then she got that foot down, but not close enough to the other. Slowly that skate wandered farther and farther from the other until she was almost scraping her butt.

That was when the squirrel and Mac left the pavement and headed cross-country through the close-cropped, new-mown grass. The animals ran right beside a faucet sticking up out of the ground. Patty was right behind with one foot on either side of it. Luckily for her the skate wheels started bogging down in the soft dirt, and she came to rest on her tochis, with one leg on either side of that potentially harmful faucet.

I was just oozing sympathy when I helped her up, but something in my voice or face must have given me away, because she came up spitting mad. Lucky for me she was still wearing the skates, so she couldn't catch me. But I got to walk the dog home.


Editor's note:


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