Each morning as I sleepily sip my first cup of coffee, I gaze out the window and see who is interacting with the fountain.
This week, on different days:
I saw middle school children traveling in a pack, like they do. One of them had an umbrella and held it upside-down to hold some fountain water in its bowl and then threw the water at his friends. He, he. The rascal.
Dogs like to stop for a drink during the hot weather. The toy Chihuahua delicately moves her muzzle to the edge of the rock border, and backs up quickly if the fountain splashes her feet. The Husky takes bites of water from the cascade and looks about to lay down in the largest puddle before he gets dragged away by his owner, who is probably thinking how much work a wet dog will be at home.
One day there was a toddler, barely able to walk upright, who put her hand in the cascade. Then she withdrew it as she shrieked with delight, looking up at her mother. Then tentatively, she put her hand back in the flow, a little longer this time. Then shrieked again and looked at her mom. Repeat four or five times before she lost her balance and sat down abruptly and got distracted by some nearby flowers.
One day the fountain was dry. I don’t know if it was broken or turned off for maintenance. It must have looked like a short mountain to the young boy waiting for his bus. He scaled it. He came down in three steps. He scaled it again, looking around the park from this new vantage point. He jumped down in two steps, teetered a bit and caught his balance. He scaled it again. Then the bus came.
And the birds! They wait in the nearby trees for their turn and avoid the main bubbling faucets. They splash and bath in the puddles near the ground and as soon as a person or dog approaches, they retreat to the branches.
It is a lovely way to start the day.