Thursday, April 16, 2009

Sophie and the Bone.

A local merchant likes to give my small terrier a large bone when we visit. Sophie takes it in her mouth and carries it like a prize. Why doesn’t she eat it on the spot? Maybe she wants to have it at home in one of her private spaces? Or is it too big for her to break?

We continue our walk but now Sophie doesn’t stop to smell her favorite bushes or trail behind to look for squirrels. She seems in a daze, heading home, bone in mouth. But I’m not ready to head home. It is a beautiful day and I want a longer walk. Sophie lives to walk, but this time she keeps trying to head home.

“Sophie, let’s keep going!” I coax. “Why don’t you eat your bone?” Sophie looks at me blankly, waiting.

“Come on, girl; give it to me…..” Sophie is drooling on the treat clenched in her teeth.

“Is it too big for you? Isn’t it a bother to keep it clenched like that?” \

Sophie stares blankly.
“Come on, give it to me.” I tug. “Sophie, drop it.” She tugs back.

“Come on, Sophie, give me the bone.”

Finally, her jaw tired, she releases. I take the treat and break it in half. Now she will eat it with gusto.

Satisfied, my puppy gallops forward, released from her trance. She sniffs trees and follows squirrels. I must cajole her to keep up.

Sophie is easier to walk when she has a bone in her mouth. She doesn’t pull, she doesn’t lag, and she walks distractedly, without passion. But I want Sophie to enjoy her greatest pleasure (a walk), so I break her bone and get her to eat it.

What do I hold onto instead of relishing? How do my preoccupations keep me from the wonders all around? © Lewis-Barr 2009
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