A little black dog has adopted Loverloverman’s mom. Don’t get sentimental. It’s the least attractive dog you’ve ever seen, in both appearance and temperament and his mama has tried everything to shoo it off. And then it went and had puppies under the house.
This dog is small and skittish and aggressive. She charges people on the street, barks incessantly, nips and leaps at you. (But not me. We had a talk, mother to mother, and we’re good.)
Neighbours complain. Family members complain. The guy stumbling home from the corner rum shop* who sometimes gets waylaid – and by “waylaid”, I mean “too drunk to walk all the way home to his own damn house” – and sleeps in the carport complains.
(Alas, we have both a stray dog and stray man in the yard.)
(I prefer the dog.)
Everyone’s complaining about this small, horrible little black dog who insists on living in the yard and insists on being a problem, a nuisance, and an aggressive one.
But…she’s a problem and aggressive only because she’s scared. She’s been abandoned. Until Loverloverman’s Mom stopped shooing her and started feeding her, she was starving. And now she has puppies to feed and raise and there’s some strange man sleeping in the garage and there’s no one to protect her.
She is a rightfully frightened animal. You can’t trust her.
And we human types are like that little black dog. When we’ve been hurt, abused, abandoned, we’re dangerous.
Not because we WANT to hurt other people.
Because we don’t want to be hurt.
Which means, like the little black dog, that when we’re wounded, we can be aggressive. Offence is the best defence.
We can be even more dangerous than an animal on the offensive defence: we can be selfish. (And not the good, rooted, stable, self-centred kind selfish that Megan Potter, “Head Lobbyist for Selfishness at Limitless Living” advocates, the deprived, bad-judgment kind of selfish.)
Let’s say you have been deprived. Of stability, security, consistent love, protection.
And then it – a touch o’ love – comes your way…so you’ll do anything to keep it.
That’s when you’re most dangerous. You’ll put yourself and your starving heart before anything else. You’ll make selfish decisions, you’ll deceive the people you love, you’ll fail to protect them, because you’ve been hungry so long and fear losing that which finally feeds you.
It’s not malice. It’s not even bad intentions. It’s fear. It’s hunger. It’s starvation. It’s a rightfully frightened animal, one you can’t trust. It’s a victim becoming the most dangerous creature on earth.
It’s the little black dog.
She followed me down the road today. I suspect she’ll stay.
But the drunk dude in the driveway best get to stepping.
* you know the book Miguel Street by VS Naipaul? It’s all about the wild ‘n wacky characters living on Miguel Street in Port of Spain, Trinidad. Life in this Trinidadian village – and all the characters therein – might just inspire a Miguel Street from me.