Sunday, 18 December 2011

Notes From A Dogwalk X

Today, as I come to the edge of the ploughed field, I can see two jeeps moving slowly up the far hillside; I see that they both have men standing in the back of them and then I see that the shepherd moving across the flat field at the hill base has his sheep collected together, a small, tightly bunched clump of brown, moving carefully across the wide green. I see all this and I think Hunters.

Today I go West instead of North, through the scrubby trees at the side of the dirt track. I'll walk until the start of the apple plantation. And so I find myself in thorn trees and sharp bushes, all sprouting into multiple prickled twigs, like cancer. The bushes spring from the ground, curling, licking fire at me and the trees hang branches down towards me like groping fingers.

So I walk through fingers and flame towards the apple plantation. There are gunshots in the background and I think about fighting and war. About how all humans could be fighters; every single one of us has that in us, the only difference is that some would be better than others. I think about how lucky I am to have grown up in a country where fighting over my land, in my towns, with murder moving from house to house, is a memory more distant than horses and carts.

The dogs are nervous, they stand attentive, sniffing and listening. Strange howls come from over the hillside; they almost sound like a dog.

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