Hunter is a big melancholic boxer; a builder’s dog. The boss does second fix on houses, and Hunter supervises the site, alerting the boss to visitors, and mooching around thinking about the state of the world. Hunter worries. He stands with his head slightly on one side, worrying for you as an anxious old grandfather watches the children, fearful of their future. When I wheeled my bike out midweek, lycra clad, Hunter looked even more alarmed than usual.

On the other side of Siji and Bijil’s new house lives a neighbour who is a man of few words. His twelve year old son speaks even less. After school he sometimes kicks a football to himself, up and down the street.

In this last week, he and Hunter have become friends. They stand on the lawn, observing each other silently, contemplating the uncertainties of the world together. Occasionally the boy gives Hunter a stick to chew on, or pats him, but mostly they stand together, looking and thinking.

Hunter has moved onto the next house. I suppose we will soon hear the football bouncing on the bitumen again.

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