Zagreus was leashed to the run today. Crisp and cold, air sharp with burning leaves. The run was twenty five feet long, the length of the long fence that circled the yard, and his pacing had beaten a track into the grass, down to the earth underneath. His coat was short and wiry and salt and pepper.
He remembered wilder days. Hot steam of blood spilled into troughs, kine traced with his name, unmixed wine, ardor. They had planted an ivy underneath the fence, and it was spilling over the top. The green and glossy leaves rattled at him sardonically.
“I’ll get you,” he growled. “I’ll get you. You leaves. You pinecones. I’ll get you.”
Rattle, rattle, rattle, went the leaves.
His legs were tight as springs. They came home, the pirates, and he launched himself at them, forward and back, and they threw him around by his ears. “Zag,” they said. “Wild man Zag. Yes, there’s a good dog. Good dog.” They buffeted his ribs companionably.