Sunday, August 29, 2010

on hunting, destiny, and luck

So for the second time this week, I came out in the morning to another dead, half-eaten bird.  Tuesday's was a female cardinal, today's looked like a starling to me, or what was left vaguely resembled a starling. 

"Madison" I admonished, "you need to stop killing things. " Her ears perked up as she heard her name.  She watched me lifting the remains of yesterday's snack into the poopcan.  The tail started swinging tentatively, as she looked at me quizzically in the hopes of determining whether I was pleased or dissapointed.

Little Girl With Dead Bird, anonymous, 16th c.
I sighed. Madison is an remarkable creature, and out of all of my present and former dogs, the one most attuned into my moods and energy.  She is incredibly smart, cunning, and I would say even empathetic.  If I am upset anywhere in the house, I mean even if I am shedding tears silently in the shower, she will find me and poke her nose in to see if she can help.  She will offer her paw, and if you really need it, a kiss.  That is sweet little Madison.  She has her diabolical side as well. Sometimes she looks at you and you are wondering what she is plotting next.  The list of helmets, shoes, and other expensive items that she has chewed out of boredom is unfortunately vast.

Madison can jump a 6' 11" fence, as my next door neighbor with all of the cats can attest to.  When she was a pup we had to keep on building the fence higher and higher, but each time she would leap up and get her paws over the top and literally launch her body to the other side, paws first.   In addition, she has a very strong prey drive.  When I used to keep the dog door open at night, many mornings I would come outside to find a dead opossum like the this one.   The opossum venture into my compost pile at night, and if anyone has seen these animals, they move very slowly.   In 10 days she had killed 7 of them, so I knew I had to keep her from roaming out there after hours.  Now the door gets shut when we go to bed.

So the hunting had ceased for awhile, as the three remaining family members adjust to the loss of Gryphon. But the summer is coming to and end, and I have been restless, wondering if this will be my last winter in Philly, trying to figure out how I want the next few years of my life to play out. 

As a result Madison has gotten restless too.  Or maybe she is just trying to show us that fences and dog doors cannot keep her from doing what she was born to do. After all if I am dumb enough to have bird feeders in my yard, then she will stalk the birds like a lion and jump up and pluck them from the air as they try to flee.  We can make it hard for her, but she will find a way.

Sometimes I feel sorry for my dogs, because surely an animal like Madison should live in the mountains somewhere, where she can hunt and run at will.  Perhaps the fences and doors of the city are preventing her from living out her destiny.  I have started to feel a lot like that lately about myself, as I grow increasingly more disgusted with city dwellers who have no regard for others or the ecosystem to which they are entwined.  I'm tired of my white trash neighbors.  Tired of cars, like the one that blew it's horn at me the other night, the first time I had ridden a bike in two months, with a driver yelling at me to "get on the sidewalk!"  And of course, I probably shouldn't have risked it, but I could not help but yell back, "it's illegal for me to ride on the sidewalk asshole!"

Tired of it all, and wanting to move myself away from all the people and cars and concrete and trash. So I can live out my destiny, which seems like such a grandiose word.  I'm not sure I believe in destiny, really, but I do believe that in order for me to be happy, I need recognize the things in life that are truly inportant to me and then arrange my life in such a way that I can get them.  There are many obstacles in my way right now, but I know I can do it.  And I don't think I can wait for my luck to change.  Perhaps the circumstances of the last 3 years are a manifestation of the universe trying, not so subtly, to let me know that what I'm on the wrong path.  Maybe I'm needed somewhere else. And once I recognize that, my luck, if you want to call it that, will change.

resting up for the next kill

No comments: