Just Plain Foolish

Just a chance for an old-fashioned, simple storyteller to say what needs to be said.

Friday, August 25, 2006


So many people seem to be trying to get revenge - not redress, revenge - for their grievances. That [idiot/nation/terrorist group/maniac] got me, and I'm gonna get them back!

Some have suggested that this dynamic was playing out in the meeting that declared Pluto no longer a planet, with the gravitational theorists feeling that the planetary geologists had foisted a definition of planet on them that they didn't like, so they would vote on the last day of the conference with less than 4% of membership on a controversial measure.

Certainly, one can think of more deadly attempts at revenge recently.

And yet, I am thinking of one of the clearest memories I have of seeking revenge. I was perhaps 10 years old, playing in the front yard of our farmhouse with my brother and sister and our dog, a German Shepherd named Heidi. I was the oldest one there save for the dog, who was looking out for her "sheep". We were playing a kind of tag while being herded by the dog who clearly knew how to keep children and sheep in one place, when suddenly, I noticed that Heidi was no longer playing. She'd turned to face the gap in the fence and was growling. Then I saw it - the neighbor's prize hog, out of his pen and looking fierce. I grabbed my baby sister and told my brother to run with me. We crossed the gravel driveway at a dead sprint, and climbed onto the playset there, making it just in time, mostly due to Heidi. With us safe, Heidi was thankfully smart enough to get out of the way, and we began screaming.

Mom got the Jeep we had out of the garage and drove us back in, without us ever having to touch ground, then called the neighbors to inform them that they'd best get that beast off of our property and out of her cabbages.

Later that summer, when fair time came, I used my money to buy a pulled pork sandwich specifically so I could eat it in the animal barn where that hog could see. I leaned against the fence, explaining the basics of a pork based economy, as I finished the sandwich. I doubt he understood one word, but it made me feel better.

Today, this story makes me think a little. Surely, we're older than 10 now, yes? And the folks that revenge is wanted against are capable of understanding words...

Perhaps it's time to put down the sandwich and try talking again.


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