They live free from lust and fear and anger.¹
I waste resources taking precautions against what I fear and nothing happens. It is what I don’t anticipate that messes me up. For example, while walking Fred that half mile we usually take through the forest I stay within view of the path so I won’t get lost. I don’t think about the problems Fred has been having with those chickens whom I allow to range freely near the cabin and who torment him chained to his doghouse. So when I unchain Fred, out of kindness, because we are buddies and all, and I see him turn back up the path briefly looking at me with scorn, I realize that I’m an idiot.
By the time I get back, Fred’s anger resolved his chicken problem. He is gnawing on one of them when he sees me and begins part two of his plan for domination. He rushes into the cabin defending his castle growling and baring his teeth. At this point I guess I felt fear, but mainly it was anger which is what fear turns into when it doesn’t care any more. I kneel down bracing for his charge with the chain in one hand and the forefinger of my other hand touching the floor beside me, “Get your ass over here.”
Fred is smarter than most animals I’ve met including myself. He bowed his head and submissively accepted the chain.
follow forrest trail
trees prepare for new spring growth
winter dying’s past
Linked to dVerse Haibun Monday hosted by Toni Spencer with the topic fear.
¹A quote about fear is required. Mine comes from the Bhagavad Gita, Eknath Easwaran translator.
Linked to NaPoWriMo2017 Day Seventeen.
Photo: “V” by the author
I don’t know what Fred was looking at, but the Aurora Borealis shining over the path was holding my attention one evening as we sat on the porch of my cabin. I pointed Fred’s head in the direction of the lights. He didn’t seem interested. He was to get his own dog house, a fancy one, since I had spare lumber. He would also get the required chain to make sure he didn’t chase my neighbor’s sheep when he grew up. I would eventually learn that Fred had as much interest in those sheep as he did in the aurora, but my neighbor’s purebred puppy, Princess, still too young to breed, was on his mind.
How do I know she was on his mind? Well, I don’t, and I would like to think he was still too young to be thinking about her, but he wasn’t interested in the aurora. He wasn’t interested in those sheep and she was barking in the distance. Civilized people normally introduce their dogs while walking through some nice park, but with my neighbor worrying about his sheep and what Fred might do to Princess, we never introduced them. “You should have that dog neutered,” he once advised. He was right, but I package my mistakes in boxes of reason and wrap them with brightly colored righteousness expecting only joy. I thought to myself that I wouldn’t want someone doing that to me, but I did, eventually, build that dog house and chain Fred. Thinking back on that peaceful evening with the aurora dancing in the sky, I suspect Fred knew everything he needed to know about Princess and she was, at least for the moment, glad I wasn’t going to neuter him.
FLUFFY WHITE FROSTING
CLINGING WET TO LEAFLESS TREES
BERRIES STILL BRIGHT RED
Written for dVerse Haibun Monday.
Photo: "Covering" by the author
Hear the author read this haibun on SoundCloud.