Dangerous Compassions



“There’s a goat over there!” Ming said.  We were walking in our neighborhood, by a vacant lot, and he was looking into a messy yard through a chainlink fence.

“Where?” I asked.

“Over there!” he said.  “By the fence?”

I tried to see the goat.  “That’s a dog!” I said.

“No, it’s not!” he said.

“Do you mean that goat-shaped chair?” I asked.

“What chair?” Ming asked.  We were laughing.

“It’s against the fence,” I said.  “What color is the goat?”

“Brown and white,” Ming said.

“Ruff, ruff, ruff!” said the goat.

“Hmm, goats don’t usually bark like that,” I said.

“I swear!” he said.  We laughed and laughed.

“You’re just trying to make me happy,” I said.

We continued on our walk, Ming still asserting that a goat lives there.  He says he saw the goat with our community member M.  M does not see so well, so this vouch did not lend credibility to his story.

A rooster crowed, and I said that was a rooster, not a goat.  But roosters and goats can go together.

definite dog

The next door neighbors have dogs.  One is a German Shepherd that has way too much energy to be indoors almost all day!  I was sitting in the driveway, getting some sun, and the big dog was released from the house to the yard, to pee or poo, I guess.  The dog was excited, climbing on their car, pacing energetically, sensing everything.

I had a fantasy of asking if I could walk their dog.  It was a fun idea, to imagine helping the dog have a better life, and helping their household–interconnecting with these people I have loved for a long time but never had an actual conversation with.

“Ok, I have an idea to place before you.  Please do not think I’m crazier than I actually am,” I said to Ming.

“Ok,” Ming said.

“I had this fantasy about asking if I can walk that German Shepherd next door.  Seems way cooped up, and it would be a way to help that family.  What do you think?”

“Sounds great!” Ming said, ever the yay sayer.

“But what if another dog was there, and I wasn’t strong enough to hold it back?” I asked.

“You would say, no, don’t do that!”  Ming didn’t seem to think neighborhood dogs would be a problem.

Some urges are to be considered, some to be acted upon, some to be let go of, almost as soon as they arrive.  I wanted to give clothes to those neighbors also.  The idea is still here, but what’s stopping me?  Fear of rejection, I guess, or making anyone uncomfortable.

By Laura-Marie

Good at listening to the noise until it makes sense.

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