Butterflies in the Park

It’s the day before Halloween.  I was able to walk my dog for the first time in two weeks since the stitches in my lower leg (melanoma) were removed yesterday. Pepper was happy to get out of the house but went back inside with the lure of a beefy treat. That meant Daisy, who had run out to the rat bush to inspect it for rats, would get to go first.

Daisy is a rescue and remedial walker. It’s more like leading a sled dog the way she mushes. I blame it on her two previous owners. No one bothered to teach her how to walk on a leash. Now she’s six years old and hopeless. We usually play ball instead.

I walked (she ran) to the park next door, and I let the first ball launch off the ball launcher. Oops. With new stitches in my left breast cleavage area (more skin cancer), maybe I shouldn’t have been lobbing balls. The nurse had said no stretching or big hugs.

I toned down my gusto for ball throwing and noticed a bunch of teen girls staring at me. They didn’t like the dog intrusion. They seemed to be wearing long capes of some kind. Then they turned their backs to me when they realized that Daisy wasn’t interested in them at all. Only the ball. A monarch butterfly came to mind when I saw the girl in the orange cape.

After five more throws, Daisy was ready to call it quits.  I can tell because she runs to the porch and waits at the front door.

She wanted the beefy treat she knew she’d get when I opened the door, to let Pepper out. That’s how I get her to go inside. Food. It’s the only way to move the Jack Russell from point A to point B with no hassle.

Daisy safely inside, I locked the front door and put Pepper on the leash. We did the loop — up the hill in the park, take a right, walk a block, take another right, go down a big hill, pass two courts, turn right on the third court and head back to the park. As I was crossing the park I saw that the group of girls had grown to ten, with one mom and a camera thrown in. They were dressed as butterflies, matchy-matchy capes in a rainbow of colors, for Halloween.

I remember those Halloween parties where we went in group costumes: the cast of Wizard of Oz (I was the scarecrow because I had overalls), three blind mice, Devil and Angel, Cowboy and Native American, Roaring 20’s, football player and cheerleader, gangster and moll (once I was the gangster, once I was the moll).

Those poor girls. No school, no parties, no trick or treating, just swirling their butterfly capes for pics in the park on a Friday morning during the pandemic.

I haven’t walked Pepper in two weeks. It seemed like a lucky break that today I did, and today I was rewarded with butterflies.

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