2.11.2003 by , every Tuesday.
A strange belated tribute to a strange and awful tragedy.
There was a rash of columns uploaded today and yesterday, and we're bumping each other down, so some might not show up on the main page. If you haven't checked them all out, you should.
"Cold out today," said the bay horse. He whuffled out steam from his flared nostrils.
"Sure is," said the brown cow. She kicked absently at the sheet of frosted ice that spread in a jumbled way across the pasture. "Cold."
A black dog padded from the house, squeezed through the dip under the metal fence, and crunched evenly across the icy field. He came up to the horse and cow and sat his haunches down on the snow, licking a paw.
"Morning," said the cow. The dog ignored her, absorbed in his cleaning.
"I wonder what the humans are up to today?" asked the horse presently. He tossed his mane.
"I know, I know," said the dog excitedly. But his ears turned to catch the sudden flight of pigeons over the barn.
The horse whuffled. "Well?" he said.
"Well what?" asked the dog, swivelling his ears back. "I've forgotten."
The cow snorted. "You always do," she said. "Well?" She coughed deeply. "What are the humans up to?"
Remembering, the dog lowered his ears a little. "They're sad today," he said. "Big happenings, big happenings."
"Go on," said the horse, stamping some in irritation.
The dog whined a little and looked very forlorn. "They're sad," he repeated. "It seems they put some people into a box, and sent it way, way up in the air. And it went as high as the moon but then it came back down again. And it went pfft, when it landed. Like a bird goes when it gets shot. Pfft." The dog's tongue lolled at the thought of shot birds.
"Pfft," said the horse, through his thick lips.
The dog twitched his tail in agreement. "The people went pfft, too. Not our people, mind you, but other people. And they are scared, our people. They stare like hunted deer."
The cow kicked the ice a bit, and her great dark eyes were botomless. "That is very sad," she said.
The horse whuffled. "Yes," he conceeded. "People are odd, but it is indeed sad."
The three animals sat in silence for two minutes, reflecting on these truisms. Sunlight crackled across the icy field.