he sky was colored light brown with sand and dust picked up and strewn about by strong gales. We were on the way back home. I drive our car along the road past the train station in Fujishiro.
Up ahead a woman is walking her dog. She does not walk on the sidewalk. Rather, she walks next to it, on the road. Behind her, on a leash, a small fluffy dog is following. It’s round and white, carried by 4 stick-like legs, and limps a bit. The dog does not walk on the sidewalk, either.
It walks instead right in the middle of the road and the woman seems to be totally unaware of that. It is as if she is not walking a dog. I slow down the car since it appears the odd pair is not planning to move aside.
I stop. The woman, in her fifites with a creased and weathered face, is hunched over to ward off the cold howling wind. As she trots past the car, the woman turns her head and looks at my puzzled face. Her eyes ask if there is something I want to know. Yes, there is a lot I’d like to ask, but she moves on. The dog tries to walk through the car, but in the end gave in and slowly hobbled around us. We continue our journey home, baffled.