Sometimes I wonder if others are such life voyeurs as I? It seems stories just leap everywhere I go. I don’t just see a little girl walking with her dog down the street and move on. I watch as long as I can see her, the way she walks, her apparent mood. Does she stoop to play with the puppy? Is it on a string or a leash? Why is she wearing oversized sneakers? Did she slip off in them or have to wear them? Is that a happy or sad song she’s humming?
If that little girl had been me sixty years ago, that puppy would have been on a hay string for the first time in its little life being unwillingly tugged along because I’d read about some little girl in the city taking her puppy for a walk. Because we lived in the country, our dogs ran loose, having no acquaintance with a leash. I had no personal relationship with any particular dog, since we had mostly hunting dogs. The only way I could have gotten a puppy away from its gaggle of brother and sisters would have been to have grabbed one and run like mad down the long drive that ran to the dirt road in front of our house. Once we lost his littermates, I tied the hay string around his neck so he could endure his walk in style. The poor little guy would been dragging behind, hoping for escape. Likely, the humming, had anyone bothered to have decipher it, would have been my bitter complaints at the ignorant behavior of the unwilling puppy. I would have been wearing oversized shoes because I never bothered to keep up with my own things and just slid my dirty feet into whichever shoes I found nearest the puppy and string. I normally went barefoot, but when I planned to walk on the road, I took the precaution of wearing shoes. I had learned that rocks were hard on bare feet. I was a simple farm child, but knew a bit about life After a little while, I gave up on the disappointing puppy, untied the hay string so it could run back home, abandoned the shoes, and was on my way, humming a happy little song, till somebody missed their shoes.