In the morning I find Pip’s russet coat flecked with apple blossoms that have fallen from the pasture trees. The blossoms remind me of the leaf boats my sons used to float in the stream behind our former home. They spent hours there, following the boats downstream, until one calamity or another claimed the fragile crafts: A protruding stick or stone, a change in the stream’s topography and the small roil of water waiting at its bottom, the snags from a deadfall.
I think, too, of the ones that survived past the inherent deficit of a toddler’s attention. He retreats back upstream on those stumpy toddler legs, his mind already fixated on the launch of another leaf, while the one before floats toward an unknowable fate.