Wednesday, September 4, 2013

A Glorious Head-Tail


I was too young to remember my mother well, but I remember her licking me, my whole body rocking with the motion of her tongue. And I remember lying in a heap with my brothers and sisters, and climbing over each other to suckle, all of our tails knocking together, and the smell of my mother's fear.

And then my siblings vanished one-by-one. And then it was just me and mother. She trembled and licked and licked me, and sometimes we whimpered.

And then, it was just me, and the concrete floor and the sound of barking and the smell of nervous diarrhea. I was so cold. I curled up as small as I could and tried to cover myself with my tail. It really only covered my nose, but it was something.

The people talked to me in high voices and sometimes they held me, which I liked, and I did the only thing I knew: I licked them, like my mother had licked me.

But none of them stayed, and mostly I was alone.

Then one day I heard a voice from nearby. I couldn't see who was talking because of all the concrete, but it was a kind voice. Gruff, but kind. It said, "You're awfully young to be here all alone."

And that was when I learned about the outside world, and about people and about how fickle they could be.

"It's my second time in," he said. "I don't think I'll be leaving this time. I'm old and incontinent. Don't be incontinent. That's the number one thing people can't stand.

That's when I learned about The Room You Never Leave. That gruff dog had reliable sources, he said. He'd been talking to the cats.

And then, the next day, they came and got him, and he was gone.

And I was alone again.

I didn't know it, but I had been sick. As I got well, I started to hear all kinds of things, and then there were some things that we didn't talk about, but we all knew them. Like about The Room You Never Leave.

And I realized that I had to convince a person to take me home. But it had to be the right person. I had to choose someone with Heart. Because if I chose wrong, well, I would come back.

When He came, I knew his Heart right away, but he didn't know me. I yelped to get his attention, and when He finally picked me up, I was so excited I peed on him, then I stuck my tongue in his mouth to make it up to him. "I'm not incontinent!" I yowled. And my tail, my tail was out of control! It knocked off his eyeglasses, and when I ran to get them for him I accidentally trampled them and they skittered into a puddle. Guilty evidence from earlier. Now, he would notice for sure! No, no, don't leave me!

He picked up his eyeglasses with two fingers. I tried to lick them clean. And then he was leaving, and I had the presence of mind, finally, to use my eyes and my heart the way they were intended, and I ran over to the wire gate and willed him to bring me home.

He was back the next day. Oh, joy!

That was when I found out about cars and throwing up.
He brought the wife and She had the most glorious tail coming right out of her head, and I just couldn't help myself. I grabbed hold and pulled as hard as I could. She told me no, but I knew She meant yes! Because She had Heart, too.