Saturday, October 29, 2005

Stella Says…I Know How You Love a Good Story!

(Originally published in the Kaieteur News on 29 Oct 2005)

I would like to tell you a story today. My story has heroes and heroines, a thrilling plot and lots of twists, but best of all – there is a moral to my story.
In a beautiful Kingdom far, far away (good start, eh?), there lived a docile Poodle who ruled over his doggie realm with a somewhat heavy heart. When he became ruler – some 13 years ago - the Kingdom was in pretty bad shape. There were dogfights all the time between the Poodles and the Terriers, which were the two dominant breeds in the Kingdom, and the puppies barely had enough food to satisfy the furry little tummies.

Things were better now though, or so he would tell himself, and to a certain extent he was right. The Kingdom was certainly in a better state than when he first became the ruler with his Passive Puppy Pack. However, just because things were better, it did not mean things were good.

In fact, there were still several doggie citizens who had a bone to pick with the ruler. Some were upset that the ruler’s friends from the Passive Puppy Pack lived in very large and fine-looking doghouses while most of the rest of the Kingdom had to live in very small and old doghouses.

There were other issues too, like the fact that so many dogs were out of work and couldn’t afford to buy dog food or fresh bones for their litters. However, the ruler’s biggest problem was that his Kingdom was plagued with fear. The doggies citizens were afraid of some very bad dogs that went around stealing dog food, chew toys and collars from good doggies. These bad dogs were making the Kingdom a dog-eat-dog world.

There were some Poodles who believed the bad dogs were mostly those feisty Terriers. This offended the good Terriers. The leaders of the Terrier pack said being a Terrier doesn’t make a dog bad – and they were right. Bad dogs come in all shapes, sizes and breeds. There were even bad Poodles.

The truth of the matter is that there were lots of Terriers who were afraid of the bad dogs too. The ruler knew he needed to do something about the bad dogs, but he just didn’t know if the Canine Unit could handle the job.

The Big Dog at the Canine Unit was a Terrier with a feline name. The poodles didn’t know if they could trust a Terrier to protect them from the bad dogs. Those naughty dogs were acting more like brazen wolves and even biting others and stealing in the middle of day. The Kingdom was filled with fear and the puppies were afraid to go outside to play.

So one day the ruler of the Kingdom told the Big Dog to do something about the bad dogs. The Big Dog knew this assignment was a no win situation for him and his Canine Unit. The doggie citizens, both Poodles and Terriers, wanted the bad dogs to be on a very short leash in a doghouse far away.

However, given the sensitive situation in the Kingdom between the two breeds, the Big Dog knew the Terriers would be very mad if he went into a certain Terrier village where every dog knew a lot of bad dogs were hiding out. On the other hand, if he didn’t go into the Terrier village with his Canine Unit, every dog would still be mad.

The Big Dog decided to do his job and planned to round up as many bad dogs as possible who were hiding out in the Terrier village. He prepared his Canine Unit for the task at hand and they all set out to implement Operation High Heel. The Big Dog intended to force those bad dogs to heel the to laws of the land.

The Canine Unit went into the Terrier village and searched lots of doghouses looking for the bad dogs. If they found a dog who looked suspicious, he or she was put on a leash until it could be determined whether they were good or bad. The good doggies got to go free and the bad dogs had to stay on a leash.

The Canine Unit found lots of bad dogs to send to obedience school during Operation High Heel, but just as expected, the doggie citizens were still mad. Some of the Terriers accused the Big Dog of singling them out as a breed and making it look like they were all bad dogs.

In fact, the leader of the Terriers said the Big Dog should have let the village know ahead of time about Operation High Heel. Big Dog said that would have sent the bad dogs on the run. It didn’t seem to matter that the Canine Unit had made the streets safer for the puppies or that the whole Kingdom could sleep a little better in their doghouses at night.

As the ruler of the Kingdom curled up on his doggie bed the next night, he pondered many things. He wondered how dogs could be so finicky like a cat. It seems the doggie citizens say they want something, but when they get it they still aren’t happy. He also wondered if there would be enough leashes to hold all the bad dogs.

Most of all though, he wondered if the Poodles and the Terriers would ever realise that although they may be different breeds, they are all still dogs – great dogs who lived in a beautiful Kingdom.

As he dozed off to sleep, the doggie ruler could swear he heard the whimper of a pup trying to suckle from its mom and he wondered if the next doggie generation would be the ones to bring peace to the Kingdom.
I wish I could say that every one lives happily-ever after, but that part of the story hasn’t be decided yet. Besides, I’m not the one who determines the outcome, you are.

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