the inquisitive one

The inquisitive one was running.

Up ahead, moving in the same direction as the i.o., was a woman with a baby carriage and six dogs.

The i.o. imagined the worst-case scenario, which was in fact quite likely: getting tangled up in all six of the leashes, flailing about and knocking the baby carriage over, and all the chaos which would then ensue.

“Excuse me, on your left!” the inquisitive one shouted.

The woman did not seem to hear. She was talking on her cell phone. Plus, traffic was passing. Plus, the wind was blowing.

“I’m coming up on your left!” the i.o. shouted again. The woman again failed to respond.

The i.o. ran slower, while considering the options. There was a strip of grass on either side of the sidewalk. Beyond that on the right was a row of bushes. Beyond that on the left was a busy street. The dogs were occupying all of the space between the bushes and the street.

The inquisitive one coughed, very loudly.

The woman, assuming the cougher must have Covid, careened into the bushes along with her baby carriage, while frantically reining in all six dogs, as her cell phone flew off somewhere into the leaves.

The inquisitive one held up a hand in greeting, while passing them on their left.