Tuesday, August 25, 2009

guest blogger: my sheepdog

Brian, the writer, is at it again. Sitting there. Looking at the computer. Staring out the window. Looking at the computer. He doesn’t even see anything when he looks out the window. There are some perfectly good birds out there that certainly need chasing. Not to mention one of those mangy little squirrels hopping around the yard with impudence. He doesn’t even notice them. He doesn’t hear anything either. There’s a German Shepard barking from up the road, a woman yelling at her daughter, a motorcycle backfiring. I would love to bark at these sounds, let them and the world know I’m alive, but he’d get all upset because he’s BUSY. Right, BUSY. A dog must have more control than a human. They can make all kinds of noise and no one complains.

Nevertheless, I understand dreams. I have them myself. I dream of the old days. Once my ancestors took care of the sheep and fought the sharp teeth and claws of hungry wolves. There weren’t many sheep lost when a sheepdog was around. We were made for it.

I can see that Brian is made for what he does. In the end, doing what you’re made for makes you happy. Not every day. Not every moment. But, yes, happy. Certainly this was once true of my ancestors. We gathered the sheep together and watched over even the weakest and in the end doing what we were made to do made us happy. If I could write, that’s what I would write about, the loss of this noble profession. And perhaps the taste of fried chicken and the fat from steak and, naturally, Alpo Choice Cuts from a can.

Still, sometimes I dream of sheep though I’ve never actually seen one in real life. I dream I’m in a grassy meadow, a full moon above me and bright twinkling stars in a black sky, and somewhere far off a wolf howls. My sheep begin to shiver and make frightened sounds and I rise from where I lay and walk among them and I say, “That wolf will not get you. Not that wolf. Not that one.” And I feel them calm, feel the calm spread just as the fear was spreading a second before. Is this what it’s like I wonder? Is this why he sits at his desk all those hours?


Anna Staniszewski said...

Loved this!

Brian Yansky said...

Thanks, Anna.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

The musings about shepherding remind me of The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. Have you read it?

Brian Yansky said...

I have read it Time is running away, and I liked it.