Bonnie and Clyde Files 23

Drizzle fell. Clouds draped the clearcut hills. A log truck loaded with hemlock rumbled down the road. Beef cows grazed and bellowed in the pasture. I had treats stuffed in both pockets as Bonnie and Clyde and I took the trail that paralleled the river.

Elk has just come through earlier that morning; their scat was still steaming.

I wanted rain. I wanted to feel a good dousing.

My mind wandered as it always does along this river and with these old dogs. The wandering is good. Some of the metaphors generated by the wandering even stick.

I decided to take a new path, or more accurately, follow the one created by the herd of elk. Follow the elk—that’s damn good existential advice.

We trudged through high grass and past shrubs and new Sitka spruces. The river below us barely moved. We came upon an ancient and massive rotting log, left stranded on the bank after a 100-year flood. I climbed atop the log. Bonnie and Clyde tried but couldn’t get up. I fed them some treats and they flopped down on the ground.

I had a good view from the log. I could see other stranded logs on the bank. A few had shrubs and tiny conifers sprouting from their rotting mass. A nurse log, it’s called. I suppose dead human beings can become a kind of nurse log for other life, perhaps even human life. One can imagine a person being a nurse log and that person isn’t even dead.

The clouds began to move down from the hills and into the pasture across the river. There was rain in those clouds, I surmised. No, I didn’t surmise. I knew there was rain in there. Whether it would fall this gray morning, that was something else to ponder, and so I pondered from atop a not-so-dead log.

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