Sunday, February 12, 2006

Have you seen my goats?

Took a walk at dusk with Allison down the boulevard near our house. For the two miles to the end where the hotel sits are only a sprinkling of houses so barely any traffic. As usual, the neighborhood dogs, Larry and Darryl (Curly found a home in Canada) trotted along with us. Although the sidewalks are badly deteriorating the median is painstakingly landscaped and manicured. Every day I see a Fonatur crew tending to it, often hand-watering. It could be any suburban boulevard in America with it's pricey streetlamps. But the similarity ends at night when the domesticated farm animals wander in. Cows, goats, horses. On the way back tonight we encountered a small herd of cattle in the median. I never get over the oddity of that sight, It takes me several seconds to understand what I am seeing is cows.

Larry, being the bolder of the two dogs rushed up on them. I stood back waiting for the inevitable charge from one of the mother cows. Interestingly, Darryl (the dog we are all sure was beaten by a previous owner and also run over by a car) tried to tackle Larry and prevent her from trouble. Darryl, who's seen the darker side of life, was trying desperately to shephard the oblivious Larry to the side of reason. Of course, Larry is the more playful, likable dog. Darryl, the timid, careful one. When we walk Larry runs ahead exploring every little nook and bush. Darryl, though he won't allow himself to be petted, and stops in his tracks when we turn around to him, rarely leaves us, chaperoning us the whole way. For that reason I like Darryl.

The two of them made me think about the nature of pairings. Friends, buddies, couples, pair up for reasons not always apparent on the surface, but there's always at play a symbiotic underpinning. One provides what the other can not. So they stick together and hopefully prolong their survival. Let's just hope Larry's lack of caution is met with an abundance of luck.

So we are almost home, turning on our street when a new white compact car pulls alongside. The driver reaches over to manually roll down the window. Have you seen some goats running through here, he inquires. He's missing his goats. His goats have escaped in the night and are running through the paved and manicured neighborhood. It's a strange place.

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