Tom’s mom (he was a college classmate of mine, small world) told a tale in church today that had us laughing.
She grew up in a small town on the Canadian prairie and attended I think she said it was a one-room schoolhouse–but whatever, it was small and very old-fashioned and if you were late for school you got your hands smacked with a ruler: you *will* be on time.
So one day on her way to school she and her friends got distracted and explored the new cellar being dug for a new building along the way.
Her friend’s dog landed down in there too.
Should they leave it there? Or risk being late for school? Should they tell? Should they try to get it out?
Finally, they just couldn’t bear the idea of abandoning the poor thing and they had to do something, so they tried to get it up the ladder.
All the pushing from behind in the world was not getting that dog up that ladder. The harder they pushed the more it was nuh uh, not gonna, you can’t make me.
What to do.
One of them had a precious roll of lifesaver candies. They considered. They pulled out the yucky pineapple ones that the dog was certainly welcome to and placed them on steps above its nose to entice it upwards. And it worked! The dog went up a few steps, snatched the lifesavers, and hustled back down to the bottom of the pit to crunch away happily.
After doing everything they could think of they gave up and climbed the ladder themselves and tried to make up for lost time getting on their way, when running up behind them came that dog. It had been capable all along of getting out of its predicament, it had just felt all along that being with them was the important thing. Mud walls, dirt floors? Those were a problem?
I confess that as her story went on I had a stifled and hopefully not too goofy grin: she’d gotten me quietly remembering the time years ago when she’d so much wanted me in her theater production, so sure I would jump at the chance, so sure she could make it happen for me and her surprise when I, with all the gentleness I could say it with, told her in complete seriousness that I would rather have a root canal than be up on that stage. Any stage. Not my thing. Babysitting for those who were, that, I’d be happy to do, I offered. (And I did and it was her one-year-old grandson.)
I felt for that dog. And it got out of there with everybody happy just like I did.
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