Monday, May 31, 2010

The peaceable kingdom (not)

A dog I know named Tuffy showed her stuff yesterday - to our horror. There was a noise behind me like the sound of a rushing wind. The quail was flying away from the dog - apparently on only one wing. She was feigning hurt so that the dog would chase her and be led away from her chicks and eggs. The owner was not happy with the dog but she was momentarily not under control.

Tuffy is a recovered dog from a reserve. She has had a tough life but has found a home. She is pleasant to be with but has a hidden hunting capability. The owner brought her back to the patio. We had not figured out that there was a nest near where we were sitting. This was not a random feint. A few moments later, mouth full of chicks, and broken eggs on the patio, the dog had done its damage.

The dog was removed from the scene. The owner buried the corpses. The mother quail (not an endangered species) was clucking mournfully in the background. The sensitive were in tears and those of us who are quick to see that we can do nothing were comforting them. A chick appeared at our feet stumbling back towards the nest. I took a piece of paper and moved it closer to the nest location - without touch. There was little language that could be shared. Consideration was given to whether the dog should live. (I did not think this was a 'sin unto death', a phrase my wife chuckled at later in the evening.)

לֹֽא־יָרֵעוּ וְלֹֽא־יַשְׁחִיתוּ בְּכָל־הַר קָדְשִׁי
They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain - they will not do evil - they will not be bad - O how often the struggle with the bad dog - operating on survival - has occurred in conversation this last 24 hours. (Today though we got away for a great bike ride around Skaha Lake 25 km - and a few games of tennis before we got rained out.)