Curiouser and Curiouser

 Word count: 222                                     Reading time: 1 min.

For fifteen years my husband and I shared our lives with beagles. We started with a brother and sister, Casalbeau Cotter and Casalbeau Camikaze (Cami). For the last years of his life a senior dog, Dandangadale Sunrise Tim (Bud), swelled the pack. Walk three beagles and you are pulled in three different directions. Their curiosity is boundless and their noses are inexhaustible.

This breed was a good match for me because curiosity is both my strength and my weakness. When I hike through a forest I try to identify the flora and fauna around me. That makes for slow walking and a large library of reference books.

When I go to and from familiar places, I take different routes all the time. I want to know what this part of the city or country is like. How do people live here? Are there businesses I don’t know? Is there a hidden park or beach I’ve never seen?

Social situations offer enticing opportunities. I want to know more about the people I meet, their stories, their struggles. There’s a problem: some people don’t care to talk – about anything – and the hardest part about being curious, for me, is finding the off switch.

Do writers have off switches for their curiosity? Or should they be like beagles, always chasing a new scent?