Over, gracefully

Hiking the hills above the Eno River. By a stream that feeds the river the long stem of a wildflower, heavy with blossom after a sudden rain, hangs in a gentle arc a foot over the path. Sadie pauses to sniff. She could go around the errant stalk or shove its petal-weight aside, but she hesitates a mere moment before leaping like a cat, quickly, delicately, her basset legs splayed briefly along the curve of her body, the flower undisturbed.

Feynman, heavier built, could never have lept a twelve-inch obstacle from a standing start, but could she, ever the showman, she would have glanced up at me afterwards to make sure I’d been watching. But from Sadie there is no glance, no need for my applause. She lands with less drama than her bulk would imply and trots on, nose to the ground, content, her moment of grace meant only for herself.

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