The Birds and the Bees and the Flowers and the Trees
A favorite afternoon gathering spot for all four dogs and me was down by the pond in a shady patch of clover and wild violets. A canopy of branches and leaves was provided by a gnarly old oak tree. Very fine, soft grass carpeted the area not covered by clover and an old moldy swing, its tattered top long vanished was a perfect place to relax with a book or an occasional visit by a four-legged friend.
This was the place where you could imagine being a child again. A small, rugged door rested against the base of the tree trunk and it would be no surprise if it creaked open slowly by the white rabbit from Alice in Wonderland. Perhaps childhood memories encouraged me to sink into the lush green ground covering to seek four-leaf clovers and I found myself gently parting patches of green. The dogs, moments before content to sit on the hillside and watch the pond or sniff around the yard doing the things that dogs do, were suddenly keenly interested in my clover activities. Four noses sniffed where my hands had been. Four mouths nibbled on clover leaves. Sixteen furry feet trampled and bruised the tender plants. Four bodies chose that moment to roll on their backs in my clover patch. Sighing, I ceased my efforts and sat back on the swing. My patch was completely flattened. Despite the damage, there was one small area untouched. Nonchalantly, I moved slowly and deliberately toward that area. Sneaking a glance at the dogs, I surveyed the area and spied one four-leaf clover. Excitedly, I stooped to pluck it before all four dogs charged and trampled that area, too.
Several days later, I returned to my clover patch and happily discovered that clovers are very resilient plants. For a brief moment I enjoyed the shady spot until the dogs discovered me and crushed my patch once again. Sighing, I lay down on the swing. A bumblebee landed very close to my face and I watched it dry its wings. Smiling, I marveled at all its bee intricacies for a few fleeting seconds before Chase pounced upon it and snatched it in his mouth chewing furiously. Horrified, I admonished Chase for his actions but it was too late.
I retreated into the house with the dogs and thought that all things flying and all things growing must be relieved by the bit of safety I just provided.