Friday, December 28, 2007

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

My neighborhood just experienced a countryside Taiwanese version of the murder mystery novel (narrated from the perspective of an autistic child) by Mark Haddon. If you have read this blog previously, you've heard about the loud dogs, chicken, and geese which make it hard to sleep at night.  Even my neighbors have located their bedrooms to the inner rooms of their homes. However, being the new kid on the block, I'm a little buhaoyisi  (embarrassed)  to make a fuss about it. At least outwardly...

On a cultural note, Dogs in the Taiwanese countryside are usually not seen as pets, just possessions which guard other possessions at night. They are expected to bark in order to do their jobs,  but one particular dog is too extreme. My neighbor tells me in Taiwanese it is "a bad dog".

To combat this particular dog, roped up just across the street from where I live, I recently bought a high power water rifle which was advertised to shoot a narrow stream of water up to 40 feet. I can do this very discretely from my second or third floor in the middle of the night with no one but me and the dog knowing (and now you the readers of this blog) since the other side of the street is nothing but junk and vacant fields. However, except for one stream which I sent out about 5 feet in front of the dog a month ago, I haven't had a need to deploy my new weapon of deterrence.

Why all the sudden quiet? Did the  warning volley I fired out a few weeks ago over the stern of the dog house (couldn't quite reach the dog itself from only my 2nd floor) jolt the dog until submission?  Or am I finally so accustomed to the noise that I can just sleep through it? 

I was shocked to learn day before yesterday from a neighbor that the dog has simply DISAPPEARED. No one knows what happened. It was last seen or heard from around the time of my last encounter three weeks ago.

Did my warning shot cause the dog to bolt witlessly in sheer terror from its rope and bound off forever into the unknown wilderness, never to be seen or heard from humankind again? (By the way, that's what happened to my green lovebird three days ago when it opened its door on its own and flew away to freedom. Sadly, as winter approaches, it will realize the harshness of life outside of the gilded cage.) Will I be pointed out to be a chief suspect in the dog's disappearance? gun

But what of the mystery man who suddenly appeared and whom I observed for three days in a row thanks to the barking of the dog walking past at 5:00 am in the morning with his large walking stick? After the third day, the day after I fired the shot, I never noticed hearing the dog again. Did the mystery man secretly nab the dog for some tasty warm dog meat, still popular in some quarters of Taiwan when the cold of winter rolls around? Or was it simply released from its rope or kidnapped by another angry neighbor who wanted to get a better night's sleep?  The plot thickens... BUT NOW I CAN FINALLY SLEEP! Thank you, God, for hearing my prayers.

No comments: