Beach run

At dusk, a boy and his dog run on the beach at low tide.

A cool gentle breeze ruffles hair and fur as they fly over damp sand, huge beaming grins erupting on both their faces.

‘C’mon, girl!’ the boy calls over his shoulder. ‘Let’s go!’

The dog bounds up beside him, her ears flapping, her legs moving in perfect unison. She cannot remember ever having more fun than this, in this wonderful moment with her boy.

The early morning sunlight glistens on the blue sea like diamonds, and the salty scent of  water and weed fills their nostrils. The beach seems to flow on forever in one continuous sandy stretch – both boy and dog long to reach its end, to find out what lies at the tip of the boundary of both their worlds. But, nature has made them fallible.

The boy stops, out of breath, and rests his hands on his knees. The dog comes to a rolling stop at his feet.

‘Sorry, girl,’ he says, as he gently scrubs at her ears. She peers up at him, panting, her pink tongue flapping out of her face.

‘I just don’t have as much energy as you.’

After a brief moment of rest, the boy turns back to the dog.

‘What do you think, girl? Race you home?’

Tail wagging, with the boy’s laughter splitting the sky behind her, the dog races away back towards the beach’s entrance, water lapping at her paws.

As always, she’s the first one home.

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