He looks across the lawn and sees that it needs to be mowed again. He peers around the yard and sees that the grass is wet with dew. He looks down at his damp feet, but he doesn't mind. This stroll around the yard is his favorite way to start the day.
He heads to the flower bed and sniffs the lavender. He brushes against it and he's enveloped in the heady aroma of this old shrub. He pauses by the coreopsis and admires the sweet, yellow flowers. He gives them a sniff, but all he can smell is the lavender trailing behind him.
He walks over to the bird feeder hanging on the fence, which he notes, needs to be filled again. He follows his familiar path along the fence, pausing to inspect the Virginia creeper and the pumpkin vine. It is at this moment that he stops.
Something is different. New. He turns his head, trying to discern what it is that has caught his attention. He takes a few steps back. Ah-ha. The new neighbors.
Yesterday he had noticed a buzz of activity next door and now he realizes that there is someone on the other side of the six-foot fence. Someone else wandering around their yard, unseen.
Wanting to be neighborly, he calls out, "Good morning."
There is a pause and then a shuffling of feet nearing the fence.
"I said, 'Good morning'."
"Oh. Good morning," a deep voice resonates over the fence.
"Welcome to the neighborhood."
"Thank you." More shuffling and an extended silence. A morning dove coos.
"Well then. Good bye."
He continues his walk wondering about that soul on the other side of the fence. He seems friendly enough, though a bit standoffish. As he nears the corner of the yard, he pauses for a moment. Curiosity suddenly gets the best of him. Hoping that no one is watching, he peeks through the knot-hole. Just a quick glance to put a face to that rumbling voice.
A few feet away sits a grey-haired Chihuahua.
"Whaddya lookin' at?" he grumbles.
"Uh. Nothing. Sorry."
Not quite what I was anticipating, he thinks as he heads back to his house. Once through the dog door, he considers that perhaps this new neighbor is more of a night dog.