I’m pleasantly surprised that I got this shot. Normally when I try to take pictures of the animals, they notice me and trot up to say hello, completely ruining any chance of my taking a picture of anything other than their left eyeball.

Chocolate (the black cat in the picture) was out watching me walk the labyrinth, as he often does. And Cinders was there as well, walking right in front of me multiple times. This was an anomaly. Normally she hangs out around the labyrinth, gnawing on pine cones, or eating grass, but today, she wanted to eat all the taller grass bits that are growing around the stones in the spirals. So, it seemed like every time I made a turn, there she was. It certainly changed the pace of my walk.

And it made me laugh, which is great. Laughing often happens in the labyrinth. Usually I’m laughing at how funny my mind is, but today, I got to laugh at the dog. She likes it when I laugh (or at least I like to think that’s so).

On a totally unrelated note, yesterday I had an interesting encounter with one of the neighborhood children. I was driving home when a smallish, pixie-like child (well known to me) stood by the side of the road outside her house and raised her hand to indicate that I should stop, which I did.

I roll down my window and say, “Why hello young miss, what are you doing today?”

“I’m selling this.” She said, holding out what looked to be a leaf folded up in a tight square.

“Ah.” I said. “What is that?”

“A thing that you smell.”

“Ah.” I said again. “I’ll give you a quarter for that.”

“Oh, but it’s a dollar.”

“Hmmm, well, I only have a quarter.” I’m lying here, because I knew I had a dollar, and I also knew that I wasn’t willing to pay a dollar for a folded up leaf, no matter what its name. I ought not to have lied. But it’s what I did.

“Oh, okay.”

We exchanged quarter for A Thing that you Smell and I drove off, breathing deeply from my Thing that you Smell. Best twenty-five cents I’ve spent in a while.