Thursday, August 25, 2005


Last night I walked home by myself after dark for the first time. Now, you might think that this is no big deal, but you would be very wrong. I am…uncomfortable in the dark. Oh all right, let’s be honest. I’m afraid of the dark. This is true under normal conditions, but the problem has been magnified by living in the jungle/mountains. Who knows what might be lurking in the darkness. Man-eating leopard? Pack of rabid monkeys? Big and scary snake? Hindi-speaking axe murderer? You just don’t know and even with a flashlight, visibility at night is minimal. (This is due in large part to the ever-present evening mist that renders one’s light virtually useless. I need to get a flashlight equipped with fog lights.)

I had been avoiding solo nighttime treks since I got here but finally last night it became unavoidable that I trudge home on my own. I had not gone more than about 100 yards when I heard footfalls behind me…and panting. Panting?

Because God likes me, my companion turned out to be White, a guardian angel masquerading as a dog. I had heard stories about White, the mid-sized yellow mutt that unofficially belongs to Woodstock. White is quite a gentleman and has a reputation for walking girls home at night. Only girls. He never graces the men-folk with his furry presence.

I must confess I was skeptical of the “I was walked home by White” stories, but darned if he didn’t do just that! He would scamper ahead for a bit, or drop back, but all the while kept roughly even with me. And when, on several occasions, we were approached by other night time pedestrians, he snugged in closer to my side. He escorted me halfway to my home, before veering off toward the houses that most regularly feed him. I think he sensed that my panic had abated and I would be okay on my own.

So, diamonds are officially no longer this girl’s best friend. That title belongs to chivalrous dogs that appear in the moonlight.


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