Friday, March 10, 2006

TAG! You're It!

Remember playing "tag" as kids? Now-a-days we play phone tag and e-mail tag. Ah, the innocence of youth . . .

Last Tuesday evening turned out to be the finale of one of those early spring days where it was comfortable enough to sit outside, at least 'til the sun dropped behind the trees.

Kathy and I were parked on the patio in the anirondack chairs, glass of wine at the ready. The kitchen and other small sections of the house were still in the process of being painted. We were able to get some welcome fresh air from a warm and gentle breeze, and to get away from the paint fumes.

Gumbo and Roux, who have learned the art of "entertain self", were for once not demanding the tennis ball be thrown in their general direction. Actually they had a case of "the rips."

Watching their full-tilt-bonzo ripping and snorting, it dawned on me Gumbo and Roux were playing "tag."

Gumbo would chase Roux at full speed as she dodged his lunges and did 180 degree turns that would make an Olympic figure skater proud. Eventually Gumbo would catch up, nip her on the butt and off he was to the races, Roux in full pursuit.

TAG! You're It!

Gumbo, the master of spins and dodges, deftly avoids Roux at all costs. But Roux is cunning, using her feminine wiles to cut Gumbo off at the pass as they circle the patio at full speed.

TAG! You're It!

Roux bolts like her butt is on fire, tail tucked between her legs as not to give Gumbo an advantage. But Gumbo knows Roux oh-too-well and doubles back waiting for Roux to emerge from the row of shrubs in the back of the yard. The trap is set.

TAG! You're it!

Now Gumbo is trying to get the hell out of Dodge. Roux, upset she's been tricked so easily, goes into some sort of hyperdrive as her warp engines kick in. Gumbo, this time, never stood a chance of escape.

TAG! You're it!

And on and on and on and on the game goes for at least another 5 to 10 minutes. Kathy and I are now mesmerized watching the pure joy of play emanating from our two canine companions.

Eventually the border collies collapse in sheer exhaustion, panting heavily as their tongues hang askew several inches out of their mouths. From the looks on their faces, they had a great time.

And so did we.

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