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  • Most days when it's too windy or too wet or too something to do a walk on the moor, I walk up the road from one village through the next and through the next until I reach the wide expanse of the beach. Admire the view, and walk back home again.

    On the second day, a collie dog comes running out to the road, barking. At first I think she wants to herd me somewhere (given the collie's propensity for herding), but no, she wants to play catch. Only here, in the wide expanse of mostly tree-less, even bush-less, wind blown landscape, there are no sticks around. And I have no ball.

    She picks up a small rock - a pebble really - in her mouth. I'm worried she's going to eat the rock, but no; she drops it a few paces ahead of me. Looks at me. Looks at the rock. It's obvious what she wants. I get to the rock, pick it up and throw it. Not such a great throw, but she doesn't seem to mind. She tears off after it, picks it up in her mouth, comes running back and drops it, again just a few paces in front of me. Looks at me. Looks at the rock.

    I see we have a game going. I play with her, picking up and throwing the rock each time I get to it. My throws are often poor, and the rock gets lost in the grass on the side of the road. One of us finds another rock and we begin again. I wonder how long she'll be up for this game; turns out, all the way to the beach and back. Past her house. Eventually, I say, look, you really should go home. I don't want you to get lost or anything. She just looks at me.

    I stop throwing the rock and leave her behind, disappointed. But only until the next day, when we play the game again.
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