There's a little girl that lives across the street from me. She's about 4 years old, and she lives there with her mother, grandmother and grandfather. I don't know any of their names, but I refer to the girl as "Popsicle", because everytime I see her, she's got a melting popsicle dripping down her hands and arms. When my puppies were only a few weeks old, I used to take them into the front yard to play. Popsicle and her grandmother would come over to visit and play with the puppies. Maybe they felt some obligation to do this, since my puppies and their mother are the offspring of one of their dogs. I didn't mind their visits, and the puppies loved having a little kid to play with.
Then the weather started getting warmer. My neighbors don't have AC, so they leave their windows up all the time. They have a screen door in the front- the screen was ripped a few years ago, but they've never gotten around to replacing it. It's the perfect height for Popsicle. She can stand in the front door and stick her head through the opening and watch my house for signs of life. Maybe they don't have a TV and my house and street is her version of watching TV.
On Sunday mornings, I like to work in the yard. Popsicle likes to watch me work in the yard. She starts off by screaming "Hey". I've learned to ignore it, because if I acknowlege her she'll go on and on about something that I can never understand. Working in the yard is like meditation to me- it gives me time to think and I don't want this time to be inturrepted by an hour long conversation with a 4-year-old neighbor that is standing 50' away. "Hey", she yells again. About the fourth or fifth time, I start to feel bad. How can I be so heartless as to ignore a little baby girl that's trying to get my attention. I turn around and say "hey" back to her.
"Where's your dogs?", she asks.
"In the backyard", I answer, and the tennis match begins.
"I want to see them".
"Not now, I'm busy".
"Where's your dogs?"
"Inside, sleeping" (will she notice that I just changed my story?)
"I want to see them".
"They need their naps"
"Bring them outside".
Then Popsicle goes into her monologue-- one sentence after another. It lasts about 15 minutes and I don't understand a word of it. While she rambles, I try to pull weeds. Each time I look away, she punctuates her sentence with "Hey!". I look back her way and she continues. Finally she starts to wind down and there's nothing else she can think of to tell me. There is silence for about 15 seconds, followed by "Where's your dogs?".
"Where's your mother?", I respond.
Popsicle pulls her head back inside the screen and disappears. Is she going to get her mother? Did I just invite the family over for playtime with the pups? She's gone for a while and I think it's over with, until I hear: "Hey-- where's your dogs? I want to see them."
Yardwork time is over for now. I'll try again next Sunday.