Early evening. Dark, except for a few streetlights. A couple with a dog. Walking.
Behind them, at the far end of a side street 2 figures can just about be made out in the shadows.
Yelling. Shouting. Mean words, angry voices. Screams. “Help!” Shrieks. “Help! Let go of me! Help! He’s going to kill me! Please help me!”
One of the figures starts running, followed by the second, arms raised and flailing. The shouting continues.
The couple stops, listens, looks at each other, turns around, begins walking towards the screaming. Purposefully, intentionally, with racing hearts but level heads, unintentionally confusing the dog.
When they reach the figures, they’ve stopped screaming. Stopped flailing. They’re walking together, laughing at a private joke.
The man, cool up to the moment, loses his cool, yells at the laughing teenagers on their way back from football training, tells the dog “heel”, tells the boys that the next time the wolf might be real, that there might really be a situation requiring help from a passerby. That they should never risk lessening the power of calling for help.
The boys laugh, scowl, walk home together.
Hopefully, they didn’t stop learning when they left the field.
I don’t particularly like dogs, and I get really annoyed with DB’s dad’s dog who we’re looking after again, because he’s incapable of walking on one side of the pavement at the same speed as I’m going, and also because we have to reduce our walks, to cater for his decrepitness.
This morning, on a short walk through the woods, involving stopping to sniff every tree, I told DB off for yelling at the dog.
This evening, on a short walk through the housing estate, I told him I was proud of him for yelling at two kids.
Do I place kids below dogs? No. I’m not nearly German enough for that. I just really think civilisation needs people to respect cries for help, and not mess about when there’s no problem.