Wednesday 24 October 2007

The grass is greener...

It was eleven AM. Time for a coffee break. As was his wont to do everyday, he stood in the corridor, waiting for the elevator to take him up to the cafe. He stood looking down from the fifth floor, out the glass wall of his air-conditioned concrete office building, far below at the now-familiar scene in the lawn.

She was rolling around on the fresh green grass, now arched out belly-up on her back, now face down and stretching luxuriously. The gentle sun that she so casually took for granted beamed down on her in all his benevolence while her every fiber basked in his warm comfort. The two little ones gamboled about nearby - running about here and there, taking turns chasing each other, tripping over themselves playfully. They searched for hidden treasures beneath the odd clump of grass, often startling a beetle or a dragon-fly into sudden flight - and promptly gave chase with glee. They ran around in circles screaming in mock-terror as the sprinkler's jets watered the green earth, seemingly following them wherever they went and splashing them occasionally. She watched over them with eyes half-closed in maternal contentment, as she just lay there and lazed in the warm sun and the cool breeze.

He stood five floors above, behind his glass wall, and looked down at this picture of peace and solitude. It was a perfect world, this world of theirs. They had the whole lawn to themselves - just the three carefree souls, in their own private green universe. Not another human being in sight. Do they even care that there may be prying eyes around? It's almost shameless, the way they were luxuriating - a small part of him felt.

And then she saw him. Or he thought she did, as he could never tell by her reaction - she just paused mid-stretch as her eyes swept past his general direction, then came back to him. For a moment, he felt like a guilty voyeur, but it was clear she couldn't be bothered that he was looking. She just continued to look at him for a moment with those same half-glazed eyes - the only indication she may have actually noticed him being a gentle wag of the tail, and a sort-of quizzical look in her intelligent mongrel eyes. Was it an invitation? - he wondered to himself. But then the puppies came tumbling over in childish excitement, clawing at her and sniffing noses, and she bent down to them, rolling them over and over in the grass as they yelped happily, and loped off after them around the lawn.

He lingered on, looking down at them in their perfect world. The 'ping' of the arriving elevator shook him out of his reverie, and he turned away with a wistful sigh of longing, the words on the signboard at the edge of the lawn gently mocking him...

"Please Do Not Walk on the Grass"