The sun woke up to a tangerine sky this morning,
and Barley and I left early for a short walk to the lake.
An old doe paused between bites of corn to watch us from a safe distance;
she has us patterned, and she wasn't too worried.
Farther along, triplet fawns bounded away through the high grass.
Barley ran ahead of me, and by the time I got to the quiet cove,
he was already standing in the water.
I tossed a stick, and the splash he made was only equalled by his excitement.
He swam swiftly to retrieve it and then back to lay it at my feet,
shaking off the water and showering me with his spray,
before begging to go again.
After a few retrieves, he was satisfied, and started up the hill ahead of me,
his head held high with the trophy he retrieved from the water.
The rest of the day was busy, with visitors coming and work to be done,
but in my mind, I held a trophy of my own:
the memory of those moments with our favorite dog and his well-loved stick.