Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Believe everything you read?

Many years ago we lived in a crowded Gradate Student housing project. Among the many unusual characteristics of this living place, I will mention one: the high ratio of dogs that ran free per (human) capita. Whenever I entered the project, dogs approached my car and barked. My worries about hitting them were nerve-wracking.

Then I read something wonderful: another man had been plagued by a dog that always ran into the road and tried to catch his car as he drove past. He also worried he might kill the dog if it caught his car. After many close scrapes, he decided to try something different. When the dog rushed out barking, he stopped his car and let the dog catch it. The dog barked up a storm for a few minutes, lost interest, and never bothered him again!

Well as we readers know, reading is the secret to understanding the world and solving its problems. The “AHA! Bulb” flashed in my head. The next day when I drove home into the project, dogs approached and started to bark. I stopped my car in mid-road and let them enjoy it.

I was at once surrounded by some fifteen dogs, barking, yipping and howling. A few put their paws on my closed windows. One tried really hard to climb onto the front of the car. I waited. They did NOT lose interest. Finally I started the car again and eased it forward at the pace of a snail, trying to give my persecutors every chance to get out of the way. In one block I broke free.

The next time I drove into the project, those dogs moved on my car and started, as usual, to bark. I accelerated away from them as fast as I dared.

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