I never dared to be radical when youngFor fear it would make me conservative when old. ~ Robert Frost~ (1874 - 1963)
Girls are always running through my mind. They don't dare walk. ~Andy Gibb~
She looked around the track as she climbed from her car. She noticed the storm clouds building up in the distance and hoped that the rain would hold off for a little while. She had really hoped for more walkers today. She figured the storm clouds had kept them away. People seemed to stay home when storms threatened. She would make do with the ones who were here But she had really hoped for more. More witnesses to her foolishness, she thought with a smile. More witnesses to the Dare. It had all started with a blog. Someone had offered advice about dog walking for exercise. She had commented and Now here she was At the walking track. She was about to take a walk. She was about to accept a dare. Oh he hadn't come right out and said the words But she had read them there between the lines. DOUBLE DOG DARE YA! She had seen that he was offering a dare. She had read the dare in the comment that said she should write about it AFTER she had done it. She had read the comment twice and both times she had felt the thrill of the dare. Even though he hadn't written the words there she had felt them in the stillness of her heart as she read the comment. She just knew he had been thinking them. She thought he was a man who would enjoy a dare. I DOUBLE DOG DARE YA! Being that she had never turned down a dare and especially a double dog one here she was standing at the edge of the curb. She could feel the fear and excitement rush through her body. She was ready! She was daring!
She pulled the dog leash from the back seat, giggling as the collar bobbled and shook. The tiny bells ringing. "be nice Doobie" she said aloud as the old couple passed her with a surprised look, " Save your energy for the run!" she added stepping out onto the paved track.
It said speed walk, skip. and hop she was thinking to herself as she passed the first two women, the collar bells ringing sweetly as she hopped along. Three hops forward and one back sounded good too so she tried a few of those before turning and with a mad dash in the other direction ran passed the same two women for the second time. Doobie's collar bells ringing away as she sprinted for the next curve and the oncoming walkers. She hadn't used the track before even though it was right across from her house. This was fun. She was wondering at the possibility of It becoming a habit.
She was having so much fun that she was well into her third trip around the track when she saw the Dark blue cruiser slowly circle the park. A small tingle of fear causing her to wonder if this time she had really overdone it. She debated running towards home. She was certain that she could reach the safety of her own property from where she was standing. before they could catch her. She had only driven here to keep her own dogs from following her across the road. " Dogs!" she said to herself with a chuckle as Doobie's collar bounced and swayed. " My wonderful funny dogs!" Raising her eyes to glance once more at her home across the way she leaned over and patted Doobie just above the collar."Good Dog" she said as she looked toward the officer stepping up onto the track. " Let's RUN!" she shouted Loudly as she began a dash for the man in blue that she now recognized.
"Ah Mam?" he said with a straight face as she skidded to a stop right in front of him."Um is everything all right Mam?" " Oh yes Officer" she replied with a smile. " Just out with Doobie here for a run, waddle, skip, hop, dash, walk she added loudly as the old couple hurried by them. "Down Doobie!" she yelled pulling on the leash. " You can't hike on this nice officer's leg!" " Quit That!" He snapped trying to sound firm even though she could see the laughter in his eyes "You're scaring people!" he choked coughing loudly to cover his mirth. "WHOOSIES!" she answered" What, is it against the law now to go for an enjoyable walk with your dog?" " You ran backwards at people!"" NO they ran frontwards at me! I swear it!" she snickered," You jumped a bench!" he accused"Absolutely not! That bench crawled under me!" she sputtered. trying not to laugh aloud."You barked and growled at an Old man? " he asked coughing again choking as he tried to hold the laughter in. She shook her head as the bells swayed and bobbled up and down in front of her. "That was Doobie!" she whined "But he doesn't bite. And That Old Fart was giving us an Evil Eye. In fact officer" she shouted as she saw the old man coming closer, I want that Man Arrested!""Officer " The wrinkled old man called meekly, slowing to a stop a few yards away, "Is everything all right?""Do not move a muscle!" the officer ordered "If you dare to take one step I'll lock you up and throw away the key. So help me God!" he choked as he turned away to speak to the old man.
She could see them talking even though she couldn't hear what they were saying. The young Officer's feet planted firmly as the Old man waved his hands around and continually looked fearfully her way. She really wanted to run at him with her empty dog collar and growl but she knew that even Bobby would only allow her so much. She figured she was a little close to the limit so she just stood there as he had insisted and waited. The track was almost empty now. The parked cars all sitting with the owners inside waiting to see what would happen to the crazy woman with the dog leash and collar but with no dog. The same crazy Woman who had dared to disrupt their Monday Afternoon walk.
Finally she saw the old man begin to move away towards the parking lot. Bobby walked towards her with a grim frown on his face as he shook his head back and forth at her. A tiny smidgen of fear crawled into her chest. But even that fear couldn't stop her from giving a bark and sticking her tongue out at the old man as looked at her one last time before hurrying to his truck and locking himself inside.
"Turn around and don't look at them!" Bobby snarled grabbing her arm and pulling her around to face out across the abandoned track. " Why?" He asked as they stood together watching the black clouds roll across the sky. " I was just walking my dog," she insisted." God woman " he snapped, " you don't even have a dog! Who are trying to fool with that." Shrugging she replied. " Sure I do. I have four dogs at home. Good dogs every single one of them," " Then why on God's green earth are you here with an empty collar hanging on a leash. Why not walk a real dog? Where did you get that old thing anyway? " he demanded waving his hand at the empty collar," My dogs won't hop backwards," she explained with a giggle glancing his way to see just how angry he was. She couldn't see his eyes as he gazed off into the distance. She hadn't at first thought he was angry, but she had scared some old people. He might not like that. She was beginning to not like it herself as she stood there watching the clouds and trying to gage his mood.
The wind was beginning to pick up when Bobby finally turned to face her. He wasn't smiling but she could swear that she saw a small laugh way down deep in his green eyes. " A dare? " he asked with his left eye brow jacked up. "Yep " she answered with a tiny smile. " A double dog one!" " Anybody we both know?" he wondered. " Not this time," she answered. " Someone new," " You know we're too old for this crap?" He warned a smile just beginning to lift one corner of his mouth. " yea Maybe," she agreed "but I have to write about it, " she explained with a smile. "Ahh" he said pretending to understand. "Research then" he added with a grin."Yea I plan to call it that," she laughed. " So what happens Now? Am I going to jail?" " Nah "He laughed aloud, " you're going home! BUT first..." and leaning close he whispered a few words before turning away and hurrying to his cruiser.
Carefully following instructions she hopped three hops backwards, three hops forward then tore out in a hard run towards the parking lot and the old man sitting in his locked pickup truck. The old fart sped away just before she reached him his cell phone plastered to his ear as he chattered away excitedly to who she was sure must have been the dispatcher on duty. Turning with all the dignity she could muster she ran to her own car and jumped into the front seat as the rains began to fall. She tossed the leash with it's empty collar across the seat to fall lifelessly to the floor. She wiped her face on her sleeve and tried to catch her breath as she choked on her own laughter. The sound ringing in her ears as it rolled through the small car. With a toot of her horn and a wave at the man rolling around in the cruiser parked nearby, She drove away across the highway and home. Happy to have pulled it off. Happy to have not been arrested! Happy to have friends in high places. Happy to have a friend who understands the greatness of a DOUBLE DOG DARE!Have a happy day! Laugh if you can. Step out sometimes and take a dare. Enjoy Life! I DOUBLE DOG DARE YA!
Ps. No old people were harmed during the research phase of this story. I promise!