Establishing a pecking order IS important.
|When I opened the door, a pleasant, smiling face confronted me. "Hallo, I'm Mary Daniels, from the other end of the street…" Her dimples deepened and she chuckled as she continued, "I'm sorry to bother you, but I simply had to come and share a funny story about your cat and my dog. Do you have a few moments to spare?"
I had a sneaking suspicion what was coming, but this Mary Daniels was obviously eager to tell me her story, so I encouraged her. I invited her to sit down at a rather nice little outdoor setting we had on our front verandah… so handy for a time like this when I could avoid feeling uncomfortable about not inviting a newcomer inside before knowing them a little better. Moving back to the city from a country town had made me a little wary of strangers. An odd situation, after knowing almost everyone.
"The first time Trixie pulled me bodily across to the other side of the street from your place, I thought she was on the scent of something interesting to her. You know how dogs are?" Mary's dimples deepened again. "… but there was something different in her attitude. More an eagerness to get away as quickly as possible, than being in pursuit of something, well-ll… like I said, you know dogs? I mean, I'm assuming you do?"
I nodded and smiled. Hmm… I was surely on the right track. Our Smokey had been at it again. Terrorising the neighbourhood's dogs! And we'd only moved in two weeks ago.
And once again, MY version of the old song played in my head (always by the unforgettable Burl Ives)—
'On Top WAS Old Smokey,
all raring to go,
She's giving fair warning
Don't pass by too slow'