Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas Eve on Sato Hill

Beautiful boys bound through the grass, this spring’s puppies grown into active adolescents live like this is their neighborhood; it isn’t. It belongs to the humans who live in the houses. They have the power to snuff out a life at their will. Generations of dogs have suffered this plight.
My neighbor boy just sixteen, a human child shows off his motorcycle to cousins’ delight burning rubber, oh what a sight with smoke billowing up from the road. His mommy is calling with impatient voice; he ignores her until the call softens to a plea. “What,” he calls in Spanish, of course. A child on a short leash, the adolescent stretches his bonds. He kept his bike running, enjoying cousins’ approval. Oh, did mommy get mad, but it did her no good. She stormed in her casa doing whatever loud things you can do in a house to communicate anger.
From the garage, the toys came out, the best, a trike, cousin tried tearing ass down the road. Girl cousin in a pretty dress bounced up and down on the balls of her toes. Mommy forgotten; acceptance, approval passed around. Here come the dogs from Sato Hill, Lucky, Robert Redford, led by Chi-Ping, the terrier. Blondie barked fiercely from inside the in the house.
Ruff, ruff, the sound of defense, Robert Redford, Lucky, and Chi barked, slowing down at the bottom of the drive to assess the situation before plowing across; Chi stopped, the boys held ground behind her, or as guys in the states say, backed her up. Lucky held tight watching Chi’s every move, but Robert Redford, the handsome golden boy trotted directly to the center of the group despite having been knocked in the snoot. He walked right up to the girl, of course, looked her in the eye, surprised her, she looked back didn’t seem to know what to do, her brother, a young man walked to her with a dominant stride. Red cowered, unsure; my neighbor’s cousin walked past him without much notice.
From the porch I cooed, “Chi-Ping, there’s a good girl, come on, good girl.” She looked over her shoulder. I knew she was mine, if I could bring her in. “Goooood girl, what a good girl,” I wooed. She looked at the activity in the street. “Where’s my good girl?” The look on her face said, oh, what the heck. Her head in a neutral posture she trotted up to the house. The wooing continued with spaced praise.
Robert Redford trotted up to Lucky, who held fast, barking to build up his courage. Ruff, ruff is the sound of the bark; I’ve heard it so often in the dark. Chi came and wanted her petting, which I gladly gave, and then quickly put her in the house. Lucky, now in the lead, Robert Redford had his back. “Lucky, good boy, where’s my good boy,” that’s all it took, lucky for me. I praised him all the way back until he gave me a sit, so proud of himself. I’ve worked with him since he was a pup. I’m not ambitious these days so we do what we do when I think about doing it; it’s a shame, but Lucky came back with Robert Redford trailing. They came in the house for treats all around Smoki, the cat never questioned his participation.
Mommy next door called in a loud piteous voice, the cousins got in a car, burning rubber up the hill waving out windows a friendly goodbye. Neighbor boy’s shoulders slumped, as he walked in the house where mommy spoke to him in very controlled tones, her voice faltering, somehow she managed.
Lucky and Red went back out on the porch, found a spot, rolled on their backs to snooze. Geri, another neighbor came out with a huge piece of fried dough, at least that’s what it looked like from the porch. I got a bad feeling, so I called the boys, who jumped up ready. We walked towards the front door, me talking and squeaking. Geri whistled the tune he plays for the dogs when he wants them to come. I squeaked louder and told how good they were. They wagged their tails following to the door, when I opened it out pounced Blondie and Chi, who I hadn’t really thought about, so they all took off for Geri and his fried whatever.
Chi-Ping stopped, gave it a sniff, but trotted off to another neighbor’s yard. Blondie loves this guy, she’s known him longer than me, so she allowed herself to be pet, but wouldn’t accept his offering. Robert Redford, rarely shy, held his tail and head low, walked over to Geri, who pet him with one hand and fed him with the other. With gift in his mouth Red scurried away. Blondie, ho had stepped aside, came back to Geri for petting. He’s very affectionate with the dogs. I wonder why he calls Adri to scream and yell about the dogs being lose, when he calls them coaxing them down to the killing ground, where dogs get hit in the road or other hellish things. I’ve asked him not to so many times.

My husband died six months ago and it’s Christmas eve, a weird time for me. Enjoy each other, and of course the critters. 

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