This morning Aki again exhibits her fascination with land otters. I just stopped trying to ski on a mostly bare meadow normally covered with deep snow this time of year. Now, I’m walking into the otter country. Aki is ahead, already on thinning stream ice, nose now, tail up, temporarily deaf to my command to return.
This is not a life or death situation but I am still worried. If she brakes through the ice, I can rescue her. But, what if she noses into one of their den doors? She does look lovely in the early morning sun, which highlights the edges of her fur, covering her with an aura of light. The sun does the same thing and a little more to the streamside willows and alders. They glow and sparkle.
Giving up, I turn and walk toward the big beaver house neared their ruined dam, stretching to the braking point the invisible tether that connects me to the little dog. In seconds she snaps back and walks beside me on the way to the abandoned beaver town.