Hi! It's me, your intrepid roving retriever of a reporter. I've had to wait quite a long time, believe me, for my people to leave me with a little quiet so I could return to these pages.
Well, sure, I do like going with them, even if it just means trying to get comfortable in the back seat of the car while I wait hour after hour. Do you have any idea how uncomfortable those seat belt gizmos get after a while? A very short while.
Still, I'm definitely happiest with them - though, trust me, they can be peculiar ducks - people, pardon - even at their best.
Now take her. My mistress. She looks pretty good to me (not that I've seen all that many, mind you, but darned few any better) but, I swear, she thinks of little but watching her weight. I keep offering to eat any food she doesn't want, even plenty she does, not that it does me much good. Though know what? If she's putting on weight (that's what she calls it), then I get my rations, slim as they are, cut back even further. Even sillier - yes, get this - she worries about getting older.
Have you ever heard anything so ridiculous? I mean, come on now, what's the alternative?
This poor woman doesn't even have an age the way I do. Mine's simple. I'm three. It's a number. We get older and the number gets higher. And, like all advanced mathematics, there is no "and" "if" or "but" about it. Just a number.
Not her though. Last year she was 63. Next year I figure she'll be 65. So any normal mathematically acute pup would figure she's 64. Right?
She's "almost 65" and has been since her last birthday.
Is there something about 65 that makes it so good that one should want to hold on to that numeral twice as long? What's wrong with just plain 64?
I'd like my mistress to be 64. The real 64, not "almost" something else. She's fit. She exercises. She works hard and certainly seems sharp to me. I mean - good heavens - she does as well as any at comprehending what I mean to say. What higher intelligence can there be than that?
And what, I wonder, comes next. Will she accept 65 - plain old three syllable six-ty five - or will she string it out to some other "maybe" or "almost" or "going on"?
Ha! I bet you won't hear her say "going on 70." Nor should you.
Sixty-four is a very respectable number.
And I bet I know something she hasn't figured out yet, though she should.
It's about time. All about time - for one day I can just hear her saying that she can't remember being 65 at all.
Where did that golden year go?
I'll tell her.
(This was written when she and I were both a bit younger. Signed, Your intrepid retriever.)
Susan Crossett is a Cassadaga resident. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org