Yesterday it rained, drizzled, and poured all before noon. By two in the afternoon the rain had stopped and everyone in my house was restless. By three, I had my daughter and my poodle ready to take a walk.
The air was decadent with humidity and the smell of the linden trees. My glasses, spotted with drops of water that fell from their branches.
Pepa is a Standard Poodle and the best-behaved dog on a leash I have ever known. I walk her with my palm lightly opened on her leather leash. My casual attitude a tribute to her good manners, until she becomes a beast of prey, because this refined poodle has killed: chipmunks, rabbits, a bird, flies, and her largest trophy, a squirrel.
When her leash starts to vibrate I know to follow the tremble of her gaze: a rabbit, sitting silently on a lawn. My dog never pulled, but she quivered so much that her hair moved back and forth.
“That rabbit only has one ear,” I commented.
“That’s not a real rabbit.” My daughter answered.
“The dog thinks it is. Look.” And I extended my arm, giving the Pepa permission to run.
Run she does, like a horse out of the starting gate, haunches pumping, bits of grass flying up behind her and into my face. She lunges at the rabbit and she is sent backward in recoil as the stone rabbit topples over on the mulch.
My killer poodle turns, moss on her snout, and shakes her head. Sometimes you just have to show lawn ornaments who is boss.