The water lapped the bank gently. It was late in the day though the dry heat lingered, as was typical for this time of year. Dusk had brought many out of their homes. Children played games of their own invention while dogs took the opportunity to stretch their legs and converse with their counterparts.
The two walked side by side, one taller than the other; they kept a good pace, enough to force a light sweat. The walk had been silent. Not an uncomfortable silence but a silence that allowed the two to enjoy each others presence.
The older man walked with a brisk gait. His hair was more salt than pepper. His face showed he was not afraid to work in the sun. The various lines and contours illustrated a man who wore his heart on his sleeve. Even if he wanted to, he would have difficulty suppressing the emotions he felt. Despite the signs of father time, he moved and behaved with a youthful exuberance.
The younger man walked with his hands clasped gently behind himself in a sage-like manner. Each of his footsteps angled out slightly as he strode along. He moved with a quiet confidence though there was a knowingness that he still had much to do with his life.
‘You can’t teach an old dog new tricks,’ the older man spoke while casting an eye over the dogs in the field. He was talking to himself though said it in a manner that suggested something had dawned upon him; something he had stubbornly ignored in the past.
‘I remember you saying those very words when Mum tried to get you to change in some way’, the younger man said softly, his voice appearing to come from times gone by.
One corner of the older man’s mouth tilted into a subtle grin which would be imperceptible if you weren’t looking for it. He let out a light chuckle acknowledging that he too recalled these instances in the past.
‘Boy, was I stubborn,’ the older man said, his grin turning into a wistful smile.
The younger man snorted, his face breaking out into a close-lipped smile as he managed to stop himself from a quick-witted reply.
‘Boy, I’m stubborn. Better?’ said the older man while giving the younger man a knowing glance.
‘Much better,’ the younger man replied as the two basked in their memories.