menage a trios
Ménage à trios
By John Gwynant
I was sitting on the grass, by the west gate of Bradgate Park in the Charnwood Forest, looking towards Old John. Out of sight beyond the hills was the ancestral home of Lady Jane Grey, the erstwhile Queen of England who lost her head just a few days after her parents pushed her into the ascendancy.
The sun was overhead, the sky was clear and the stillness of the air accentuated every sound. I looked up at Old John, dominating the hilltop, it seemed to belie its age, giving the appearance of a formidable castle turret.
Feeling a movement beside me I turned, her brown eyes gazed into mine. She looked happy and leaned in closer to kiss me, a light breeze sprang up ruffling her long black hair. She snuggled close into the crook of my arm. She grinned, ducked away and ran up the hill towards the old folly; I watched as her lithe body swept effortlessly up the steep slope. Her hair streaming out behind her.
"I wish I was still that fit," I said to myself, remembering how as a young teenager, taking part in a National Association of Boys' Clubs wide game, I'd raced up the hill, round a flag at the top, then down again to the finish line.
She sat by the rocks waiting, her face a picture of happiness, she watched me climb towards her. As I closed the gap between us, she suddenly stood up and ran joyfully to me. I laughed and opened my arms to receive her, but at the last moment she swerved away and skipped playfully round me before coming back to my side.
We strolled together up to Old John and sat on the step that runs around the base, we could see out across the green countyside, dotted at intervals with buildings and settlements. I put my arm around her shoulders and she leaned her head against me, I could feel her warmth as her long hair rubbed against my neck.
I don’t know what made me turn around at that moment, but as I glanced through the archway I saw a figure approaching from the memorial on the next hill. It was a figure I recognised … my wife was hurrying towards us.
"Stay here," I whispered as I stood to face the onrushing figure.
"Jim!" she shouted.
"Mary, you found us!" I exclaimed and waved.
Then I caught a shadow from the corner of my eye and held my breath, they were going to meet, my wife and the new lady in my life were about to go head to head. I was riveted to the spot by apprehension.
Katie leapt from the top of the steep grassy slope, Mary caught her in mid flight and they twisted round, falling and rolling on the grass. They stopped moving, their eyes met for a second.
Then, panting, Katie leant forward, and licked my wife's face.
Katie had immediately appealed to me when I saw her at the Border Collie Rescue Centre near rugely and as the white tip of her black tail wagged enthusiastically back and forth with pleasure at meeting her new mistress, my apprehension disappeared, I knew they were going to be friends.
"Katie!" I called, she pushed away and rushed back to me, her mouth open and tongue lolling out, she looked as though she was laughing and happy to have found a loving new home.
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