Tuesday, December 11, 2012
smoke gets in my eyes
"Don't look for a happy ending. It's not an American story. It's an Irish one."
So says Brad Pitt's character to Harrison Ford's in The Devil's Own. A real stinker of a movie.
Mexico has a lot of tales. And not all of them have happy endings. In fact, there are studies that indicate bathos, and not sentimentality, is the foundation of most Mexican mythology.
This tale is not grounded in bathos. But it is sad. Don't say I did not give you fair warning.
The first place I went when I returned to Melaque on Monday was the laguna. I was positive the water cabbage had had its way. And I was correct.
My neighbor had created a patch of clear water around his viewing platform. And that was an incentive for me to get busy.
But there was something else. What looked like a black and white balloon. Almost as if a small Macy's Thanksgiving Day balloon had floated south for repose.
It was obviously a body of some sort. Perhaps a small calf.
Closer inspection revealed the truth. It was a dead dog. A large dog. Blown up with decomposition gases. It turns out it had been in the water for two days.
Now and then I think of myself as "Ducky" -- the chief medical examiner in the television series NCIS. And this was one of those times.
How did the dog end up in the laguna? Old age? Did it violate my aunt's "no eating within two hours of swimming" rule? Could it be the victim of some dogland killing?
Or the more obvious answer. Another notch on some crocodile's tail. It certainly is possible. A last drink at The Dead Wildebeest Oasis.
Sunday night the small crocodile was hanging around the carcass. Perhaps waiting for it to rot enough to twirl off a few kebab pieces for dinner.
On Monday the bloating decreased, the sweet odor of mortality past increased, and waves of flies took up residence. That was enough for my neighbor.
He decided that a Viking funeral was a fitting end for the deceased. He pulled the remains closer to shore. Piled up wood and grass recently cut from the edge of the pond. And set it afire. I almost expected Tony Curtis and Kirk Douglas to show up in their Vintage Dane gear.
There is probably a moral buried somewhere in the tale. About the ramifications of death. Or the anthropomorphisation of animals in general.
But that is for another day.
For today, I will simply be a bit more careful around the edge of the laguna -- and I will certainly be far more polite to gangland dogs.