black lab. As it lies, resting, two blonde children, a boy and a girl,
pet the dog with enthusiasm. Soon, a crowd of kids has left their
swings and juice boxes to join in the patting.
The woman heaves herself to her feet. As she backs away, she gives
more leash to the dog, and more space to the kids. After a few
minutes, the dog also stands. The heat of the pavement has penetrated
his coat at last.
Almost as a group, the kids stand and leave, all except for the first
blone girl. She wants to hold the leash, but the fat woman shakes her
head. She stand patiently in the shade, waiting for the girl to finish
petting the dog.
The girl hugs the dog, then walks off to the shady picnic tables in
the park shelter, rejoining the other kids in the summer bible camp.
The four teachers, or perhaps mothers, call for quiet, twice. They
lead all of the children in prayers of thanks for sunshine, parents
and juice boxes. The final "amen" is in quiet unision. Then, the
eruption of shouts and calls from the six long tables of lunching
children startles the dog.
The fat woman leaves the shade of the restroom building. With her dog
thirty feet away at the end of a retractable leash, she crosses the
grass. The two of them resume their walk in the park, moving from
shade to shade, making their way farther and farther from home.
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