[image description: A witch all in black robes with long flowing skirt and sleeves with the typical pointed hat walks down a winding forest path followed by little black cat. The scene is of a dark watercolor forest but with bright hints of colors. Text reads “Lili & Mimi, small gods of Walkies, 234”]
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Some people see her beckoning from the shadows of the trees or the park, or hear the swish of her skirts as she walks down the path, dodging bikers, stepping around potholes, walking with the smooth, unhurried stride of someone who has nowhere specific to be but is going to get there in her own sweet time no matter what.
Some people see the other half of her darting into the bushes or trotting down the sidewalk, tail held high, a banner inviting the bold to new adventure.
Some few—some lucky few—see them together.
They have no age. They are young and they are old and they are everywhere between, and they are always together and they are frequently apart, for a walk is a ramble with its manners front and center, and manners slip. No one is sure which is the woman and which the companion, but there are always two of them, the girl and her dog, the teen and her cat, the woman and her miniature horse, or iguana, or bright-winged parrot. Some people say they’ve seen her walking her octopus, or her alligator, or any number of other glorious oddities, and maybe they’re right and maybe they’re wrong, and maybe it doesn’t matter either way.
You can speak to her, if you like. You can ask her questions, and that is where the danger enters her worship. For most, she’s a god of fresh air and light exercise, of being a responsible pet owner and remaining connected to the natural world. But for those who speak to her directly, she can become a way of life. She can become an inducement to wander, a temptation to leave the beaten path behind.
Not all who wander are lost.
But not all are found again, either.
Follow her with caution. She will show you marvelous things, but one day she may show you the last things you will ever see, and you’ll fall with purring in your ears and dead leaves crunching underfoot, and Lili?
Lili will walk on.