Urban Stroll

Cracking a bloom

In the wall facing my world

An open view expands

Into my branching roots

Neto as she was

Walking my dog in the streets of Tel Aviv back in the nineties was an unleashed affair. Neto was such an obedient creature that I had no worries she might suddenly succumb to a distant crave for exploring unwanted territories. Encounters with enforcement staff were never a problem either. Although not a small one, her presence was as threatening as that of a door mat.

One day I was walking behind as Neto was trotting gently on the sidewalk leading home. Her head was as usual pointing downward looking for possible grabs. Whenever she’d see something worth a chew she would point her head slightly backwards with her sad eyes asking “can I have this?” As usual I would softly but firmly say “no” and she would keep on trotting till the next encounter not too many steps away.

Suddenly, I noticed a cat. It was sitting ahead of us on one of the stone fences surrounding a residential building. Cats were the only distraction that would cut the magical cord of obedience tying Neto to me. If she saw that cat she would charge ahead without hesitating and chase it as far as she could. The cat was attentively anticipating the charge in case that started. Neto was still trotting ahead with her head down.

I was preparing to tie the leash before anything happened. The cat kept quiet, motionless on the fence above. My eyes were moving between the cat and the dog in an effort to be on top of it all. A branch hanging from a tree above, was waving gently in the light breeze coming from the yard. As soon as it touched the cat’s neck a subtle twitch flexed its body closer to the branch. For a fraction of a second the cat had shut its eyes sucking the joy in before returning to the guarded position in anticipation of the dog.

Nothing happened: Living the moment and planning for the future are components of the same space. Neto was still on her way home; the cat had its moment of joy; I have learned how simple life can be.

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One thought on “Urban Stroll

  1. I remember well Netos obedience to you on our walks,especially compared with my 2 black labs,Nala & Simba at Kfar Uriyya,village stroll i guess..or was it forest,definately not urban.
    Jonny.

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