It has returned, as it does every year. It is mean and shortens our walk along the top of the bluffs for weeks. But it is bigger than we are and it has a cold, cold heart.
It is the Godzilla of all puddles and it straddles the entire pathway before us from side to side making it impossible for us to pass. It is a harbinger of Spring as sure as robins and crocus and neighbours out mowing their lawns. But without the pleasure those images bring. It lies there smugly blocking our passage.
The melting of the snow mounds of winter super saturates the earth leaving the heavy rains of April no route of escape. And now the waters lie there before us, blocking our way. Blocking the enjoyment of our day. Mocking us. As they do every year at this time.
Disappointed, I turn and start the trek back to the car; but I haven't gone long before I realize my faithful companion is no longer with me. I turn to find Lindsay on the opposite side of the Godzilla Puddle. Tail wagging. Eyes gleaming with excitement.
She shakes and water flies off her slick black fur in every direction.
"That's okay for you Lins," I tell her. "But I'm going to get a soaker if I try."
The depth of the dark muddy water at the heart of the villainous puddle exceeds the height of my boots. I picture myself walking on, boots filled with slimy cold water, squishing with every step.
Lindsay runs off down the path on the opposite side of the puddle. "Come on," she seems to be saying. "You're not going to let a little water stop you, are you?"
"Sorry Lins," I tell her, "The puddle's just way too deep."
I turn back to the car and I can soon hear Lindsay behind me splashing through the puddle toward me. She passes me by and runs on ahead; then stops in the middle of the pathway before me, blocking my passage as surely as the puddle does behind me. Her eyes are aglow with good humour, her tail wagging, she begins a joyful dance and then runs back past me toward the puddle.
"Come on! Come on! Don't be afraid," she seems to be telling me. "This is nothing to be afraid of. Its only water."
I picture myself stepping into the puddle, cold muddy water pouring over the tops of my boots and onto my socks. I picture myself walking on with wet feet. I picture myself arriving home, frozen wet feet leaving puddles on the floor. Linda asking, "What the heck have you two been up to this time!"
On the opposite side of the puddle, Lindsay barks and bows. "Don't be afraid! Don't be afraid! Its easy."
I should listen to my own good sense and not a stupid dog. I have enough health problems right now. The last thing I need is pneumonia.
Lindsay spins on the opposite side of the puddle and scampers off down the path.
Before me the puddle laughs and mocks me as it does every year. I am Godzilla it tells me. The vast, slimy, dirty Godzilla of puddles. Look on me and quake in your boots. I am the spoiler of days, the ruin of walks. Heed your fear. I win. You Loose.
I should listen to my own good sense, not to a stupid dog.
But I didn't. Not this year. Not this time.
I stomped into the puddle, water flying in every direction, pouring over the tops of my boots, wetting my pants to the knees.
Lindsay flying back down the trail to greet me on the other side.
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