Out of the culvert a red-brown body streaks, a four legs bushy tail body. Distance makes it vole sized. Hunched angle of head makes it angry. One hundred yards behind a white-brown body bounds, a four legs tail wagging body. Enthusiasm has rendered this one conveniently deaf. After some joyous time it returns, tongue akimbo. As suspected, it is Dog: glorious Dog, her mud all glossy and giving a slight steam to the cold midday air. She has lost her tennis ball and still looks to me to throw it. She is not a creature of detail in any sense but the olfactory. We head homewards.
Half a dozen items dangle from the washing line, blowing lazy.
'Where d'you go?' Mr asks from his skeletal shed-in-progress.
'Chasin' Fox,' I tell: I tell the diminutive narrative of our field hike: how the tennis ball is dropped unheeded in the undergrowth and the fox is cross.
In the kitchen a jug of pancake mix is ready for cooking up. Four fresh daffodils poke from a makeshift pot. An extension wire leads over the door, out through the bathroom window, ends in a circular saw at the shed site. A hosed down Dog slops in her basket, ready to dream, to rerun the fox chase.