September 26, 2005
Postcard from the Edge
Greetings from Florida!
We sure miss you, and your little dog Lucy Lou, too! We miss you especially at low tide, which I know you love, when all that is covered comes to be revealed. The murky, tail-high water becomes sand laid bare or only dewclaw shallow for a long way out, almost to the sandbars at the mouth of the bay.
Everything goes muddy and squishy and just the way Labradors love the world. Little wet seaworm mounds shape the long shoreline, soft gooey piles in which I leave my wide Labrador paw prints. I neither know nor care if there are consternated worms in sandy tubes below. Mike calls it the littoral zone and carefully bows to the lovely, icky denizens of the muck. I, however, think of it all as Hank Heaven and romp as if it I owned it outright. Who better than I, grimy King Hank? Who could love it more and rule it with a surer, bolder, more playful paw?
There is everything here. The clam shells are thick and heavy and just begging to be skipped along the water's surface. I love chasing them down into the chest high water and then diving, diving, and diving again, my butt wagging and tail making wobbly circles in the air as I search underwater for the hearty shells. For this I was born. I feel it in every fiber of my hairy being, wrapped in a subcuteanous layer of fat I think makes me nearly a water mammal.
And if Mike refuses to skip clam shells for me, there are always the whelks, which I can find and dive for on my own. Oh, Grandma, how I yearn to crack them open like pistachios and eat the soft, salty snail inside, but Molly yells at me when I start to chew them. And I must admit that the sharp shards of shell do stick in my lips for hours afterwards. So, I treat them gingerly now, savoring the sweet, thick slickness of the grainy gravy spilling out of these lowtide denizens, my subjects. They must pay their dues while I am here, their homage to King Hank, the careless, carefree master of mudflats.
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