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Here is the next installment from Beatrice Allen Page’s unpublished manuscript, Landscape with Figures:

“I seem to be the only person in the community who likes to walk without any practical motivation such as getting somewhere, airing a dog, losing weight, improving health. I just enjoy walking. So, it seems, do all the dogs between my house and the village. I never get very far before I am joined by one or more. I wish I could just relax and take pleasure in their companionship without feeling responsible for them, but it seldom works out that way. Either I’m plunging out into the road to haul one out of the path of an oncoming car (the driver of which usually glares at me) or one follows me for awhile and then disappears and I worry whether it will find its way home again. On more than one occasion I’ve felt compelled to wander around searching for the animal until I’d found it and walked it back to the point where it joined me, and then tried to shed it there, which is not always easy.

Today a cocker spaniel accompanied me for awhile, and at one point we passed a house where a little boy of about four or five was riding a velocipede round and round in a circle in the front walk. He stopped as we approached, eyed the dog trotting along witht he floppy bounce characteristic of spaniels, and then turned to me and asked, ‘Why is that dog for?’

I made up some kind of lame response that had nothing to do with the question. I’m not sure even God could have answered that one.”

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