Beau Ain’t No Lassie
Oldtimers such as myself, who watched the TV show Lassie, or younger folks who have seen re-runs of the show, probably remember Lassie rescuing Jeff or, later, Timmy. A familiar joke was, “What is it, Lassie? Timmy is in the well? Show me, girl.”
In a 1988 vice-presidential debate, Senator Lloyd Bentsen said to Senator Dan Quayle, “Senator, I knew Jack Kennedy and you, sir, are no Jack Kennedy.”
I knew Lassie, and you, Beau, are no Lassie.
Rather than save Timmy from the well, as did Lassie, Beau is the one who needs saving.
Miss Sugar is more like Lassie and Beau like Timmy.
Sugar called to me, “Al, Beau is whining and barking. I think you locked him in the barn when you put the rake away.”
I went to the barn, bravely, on my bum knee, enduring the pain for 100 yards. Very John Wayne-like. Very tough. Very manly. I did it for Miss Sugar more than for Beau, the whiny baby.
He was not in the barn. Sugar had falsely accused me.
He barked again. He sounded hurt. Since I was in the barn, and the sound was not coming from there, I determined that the sound came from the west, maybe by the river. I limped to the river. Maybe Beau is hurt. Maybe a snake bit him.
Sadie went with me to the river. She was no Lassie. She was unconcerned, actually glad to have time alone with me. She swam in the river. We found no Beau there.
Sugar was calling Beau repeatedly. He would answer. It was like the game in the swimming pool. Marco. Polo. Marco. Polo. You know the drill, except Sugar was saying, “Beau.” Beau was saying, “Whine, whimper, bark.” Again, “Beau!” Then, “Whine. Whimper. Bark.”
Sugar was worried. She was distressed. So, as usual, I stepped in to save the day. Again.
We have, between the barn and the river, a huge hole which we euphemistically call The Pond. It is the low point where run-off gathers and actually fills to be a temporary pond in the spring. The rest of the time is is a dry hole. It is, more accurately, a burn pile/trash dump. We throw old Christmas trees in there. We throw scrap lumber there. I hate to admit that we throw old tires in there, which are not burnable. There is an old dresser in there. Also, I confess to putting other discarded items. I have been collecting such for years because I am afraid to start a fire when there have been so many wildfires. I need a burn permit. I don’t have one. I doubt that I can get one. I could haul stuff to the county landfill, but that takes work, plus they charge a fee. So, I have been using my own personal landfill. So have the rabbits.
Under the pile of trash, a colony of rabbits found safety, or so they thought.
Beau was somewhere under that pile, trapped. He could not come out on his own. He was stuck. We could see his tail. Like I said before, he was whining. He was whining like a baby. He was whimpering like a wimp. Naturally, we thought he was hurt. So I flung tires, plywood, fence poles, and such in order to clear a way to where we saw Beau’s tail.
We called him, but he did not come out. He still thought he was stuck, I guess, or he was too lazy to back out. Or too stupid. Take your pick. I moved more stuff out of the way. Finally, he climbed out, just as pretty as you please, with no injuries.
There was no apparent reason why he did not back out. There was no reason to whine. I suppose, unlike Lassie, who rescued Timmy, Jeff and others, Beau just waited to be rescued. He identifies with Timmy, not Lassie. He does not see himself as a hero. He has that victim mentality.
I was the hero, like usual. Ain’t I somethin’?
Close to Home
When I see something in the news about a tsunami in faraway lands, I have compassion for the victims, but the victims are strangers to me and I have never been to those places.
When there is a natural disaster, such as tornadoes in the Midwest or hurricanes on the Gulf Coast, or wildfires in the West, I can relate better. The victims are Americans, like me. Maybe I have been to the location of the disaster. Maybe I have friends or family in the area.
But enough about people I don’t know. Now let’s talk about me, me, me.
Now the news is showing the clean-up from the flooding in northern Colorado. This is my neighborhood. I have been on those roads now destroyed, like Highway 34 up the Big Thompson Canyon to Estes Park. I can’t get to Estes now. I love going to Estes Park. It is a beautiful little tourist town in the mountains, the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park. We camped there this summer. My wife did an art show there in June. We have been to the stores shown on the news as being flooded. We live in the very same county.
We have family members in Boulder and Longmont. They were not harmed, yet we worried until we learned that.
I called a lawyer friend last week to see how he was doing because he lives in an area that is a mountain valley. Last summer, his family was evacuated during the High Park fire. This year his family was not evacuated, but his home was damaged by some of the flooding. Still, they stayed. The road to his house is not a priority in the rebuilding efforts. He was told that it might not be repaired for a year. In the meantime, he literally has to use a ladder to cross a washed out section of the road that is now an open crevice in order to get to a car he parks on the road. He has to hike quite a ways to get to that car. For a year?
We have been to his home. It is in a lovely setting. I understand why they moved there. Now I have difficulty grasping how they can stay there, cut off from vehicle access.
There are many stories like that. Worse stories. True stories.
The people who lost everything in a tsunami can feel compassion for families like my friend’s, and probably do. Even so, Colorado is a faraway place to them.
I guess you had to be there.
It helps to remember that God, who knows when a sparrow falls from a tree, is here and was there with the people in the tsunamis, the hurricanes, the tornadoes, the wildfires, and the floods. For nothing can separate us from the love of God.