Jane Austin* has an affinity for socks. So I learned from Jack. He has to be careful when folding laundry. And as careful as he is, she will succeed at sneaking one every so often. And she doesn't just take them. She eats them. Not that one would want it, but there is proof. At the bank down the road for instance, if one were to look very closely under the bushes, one would see a lone black dress sock, compliments of Jane.
One particularly beautiful day, Jack and Jane were enjoying an afternoon walk in the woods (Jane loves to walk, loves to walk so much that she rarely actually walks but rather runs and skips and leaps. And so it is that Jack rarely keeps her on a leash; the sight of Jane leaping through the woods being about as wonderful as it gets. Leash laws, shpleesh laws). Nearing the end of their walk, Jack and Jane came out of the woods into the parking lot. There was a man sitting in his car with the door open, feet on the ground. Jane being the friendly sort, made a tail-wagging bee line for the man. "Your dog is out of control." grumbled the man. Clearly not the friendly sort. But Jane didn't care (o that we could all be so unconditionally loving in response to grumpiness). Her tail wagged even more.
"Yes, yes, I'm terribly sorry." offered Jack humbly, both a little embarrassed and a little proud of Jane's defiant friendliness. Jack was still pretty far away, walking ever nearer thinking, why did she have to pick this guy.... And then he saw it. Jane's rationale.
"Oh no" mumbled Jack. "Jane! Jane, come here!" But Jane had her eye on the prize. She was sitting now in front of the man, ready, ignoring the grumpy looks he tossed her way as he began removing his shoes. That's right, removing his shoes.....
Of all things, thought Jack.
He was still too far away to do anything. He watched helplessly as the man pulled out tennis shoes and a pair of white cotton socks. Here we go, thought Jack. As the man put on the first white cotton sock, the other one dropped to the pavement.
Bingo. Jane made her move.
"Hey!" cried the man incredulously. "Your dog has my sock!"
"Jane!" called Jack. "Yes, yes, I'm TERRIBLY sorry, just terribly sorry." said Jack, and he was....because he knew what was coming next.
Jack and the man both watched it happen. The man was in shock, looking back and forth from Jane to Jack. "She swallowed it." said Jack. They stood there for a moment, looking at each other blankly. "But....." said the man. "I'm so sorry" said Jack, and he was, even more so because there was absolutely nothing to be done about it.
Oh but there is! thought Jack, in a moment of inspiration that would only grace the mind of a true dog-person:
"If you give me your phone number, in a couple of days...."
The man's eyes bulged, "Ohhhhhh no. No no no no. Keep the sock!" he said. And with that he quickly finished putting on his tennis shoes, and one socked it into the woods.
*Jane Austen of Wellfleet is Jack's standard poodle, so totally worthy of her name. Jack is a new friend of ours and a fantastic storyteller with whom we were blessed to share an evening a few nights ago.
Disclaimer: The event didn't happen exactly like this, I embellished here and there. But it's pretty close and I wish you could've heard Jack tell the story. We were cracking. up. the other night.