Saturday, 13 November 2010
The Mystery Dog
15 junior high school students dropped by the house to learn about silk and thread making on Tuesday. Walking down to the village entrance to meet them, it was a delight to see Snoopy walking up with them as a good guide would. With a tail wag and a nod, pointing out the shrine, the pride of the village and other village spots of interest.
Does your class keep a dog and take turns looking after it on weekends?
Well, whose dog is it? One of you brought it from home?
No. It just showed up a way back and is following us.
I've never seen it around here before. It has a tag, maybe it's name is written on it.
Is it a male or a female?
(They shyly check.) Female
When they arrive at the house Snoopy walks in the door and drinks from the bucket of water inside the door. The students gasp. Teacher! Is it OK?
No problem. I just use that bucket to wash my shoes. The water is clean. (It is their first time in a house of a non-Japanese and I suppose they swallowed this shoe wash bucket oddity with out much thought.)
She is jumping up into the chair!! Is it OK?
No problem. I'll call the dog catcher later and they will come and pick her up. (Looks of disbelief and horror.)
Does anyone want her? I can't keep a pet here.
No. My grandma hates dogs. I have a Yorkshire Terrier already.
OK. Off to the pound.
The cocoon reeling demonstration goes on and Snoopy is getting sad desperate looks and gentle pets. I get a few puppy dog looks from the kids... Can he be that cruel? Sending a dog off to the pound so casually.
Suddenly one kid spots a photo of Snoopy on the table...Teacher!!!!!!!!!!!!! Snoopy lives here!!!!!!!!!!! Their faces all light up and there is a huge collective sigh of relief. Being a little choked up at Snoopy's faux-death-row-last-minute-reprieve the demonstration took a few second break while Snoopy got smothered in almost visible waves of good will. She soaked it up, her coat seemed shinier and the class continued.