An Encounter With a Different Ending
It felt a bit like an ambush at first. I was walking my dog through the small, scenic park around the pond as I have on so many occasions. It was a perfect early spring day made more glorious for having suffered through so many dreary rainy days. It was finally clear, sunny and warm.
The swans were swimming in the pond with their three baby hatchlings. The geese were carefully minding theirs along the shore. The grass was green. The trees were blooming pink, purple and white. The sky was blue.
My dog is an extremely adorable eight pound chihuahua by the name of Coco who happens to be friendly. After she barks at you aggressively, she will greet you with alacrity if you approach her. Sometimes I get caught in her leash that is tied around my left wrist because my non cane carrying hand is unable to hold her leash. My spastic arm may go flailing.
The first young boy was on his bicycle. Another potential hazard for me and the leash I was tethered to. He slowed down to ask if he could pet the dog. She had already given him the warning bark. As he bent down to pet her, she wagged her tail. Three more young boys followed with a man who appeared to be their father and was around my age.
As the boys took turns petting Coco, the man said hello to me.
“Nice day.” we said.
“Are they all yours?” I said.
“Yup, and we have a girl at home.”
“Wow. That’s a lot.”
“Do you live in town?”
“No, I live in the next town.”
I notice he is attractive. I also notice he is not wearing a ring.
The boys started to bombard me with questions.
“What’s her name?”
“Aw, that’s so cute.”
“How much does she weigh?”
“How old is she? I’m 7.”
“When is her birthday? I just turned 7 on May 7th.”
“Her birthday is the first week in May, too.”
“How old are you?”
The dad became mortified at this point and made a comment to the boy to the effect that we don’t ask people how old they are.
“It’s true, we shouldn’t normally ask that question, but I don’t really care. I just turned 56.” I said to the boy.
“He’s 11, he’s 9, he’s 5, I’m 7, and he’s 51.” he said as he pointed to each brother and then his father.
I know being the oldest is a cool thing when you’re a kid and age is very important.
I said, “Well, I’m the oldest then!” trying to lighten things up for their dad who was clearly embarrassed. I wasn’t offended in the slightest. He was just being an innocent kid.
Everyone pet Coco and told her how cute she was.
Their Dad and I exchanged pleasantries. We told each other we are at the park often. They obviously lived within walking distance. I wondered if there was a mom at home. I conjured up a scenario whereby she had left the family and the gang I just met was traumatized by it. I felt guilty for thinking this. Then I wondered if the boys had been trying to help their Dad make new friends. Stranger things have happened. Maybe they were practicing on me.
As the fantasy filled out, I considered if or how I could become involved in such a situation with an absent mother, single father, and five young children. My mind wandered. I had already been there, done that with two rowdy boys of my own. There was no actual decision to be made here. It just made me think about how I would react to an actual scenario like this should I ever be presented with one.
After I put Coco in the car, I recognized her potential as a man magnet; something I had never given much consideration to before being ambushed by the young family on that beautiful spring day.
Thank you for reading:)