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. 



Felipe Zapata said...

Jeez, man, photos of dead and burning dogs?! Now I cannot eat breakfast.

norm said...

Puddy our black terrier of 18 years went out with his boots on. I was cutting timber at my folk's house, I had Puddy on a leash tied to a hook in the shade, I would check on him every time I needed to fill the saw's gas tank, about every half hour or so. I went to check on him , he had slipped his collar and was nowhere to be found... I found him in the lake, floating like a log. I think his heart gave out because his lungs were full of blood, well water also but mostly blood. I felt bad at first but after thinking on it, who does not want to go out with their boots on? And I like your post-we all die.

Steve Cotton said...

One of the things I like about Mexico is its matter-of-fact response to the cycle of life. If I was there, I would eat your breakfast for you.

Steve Cotton said...

That is the way to go. As you know, Jiggs died in bed next to me. He had just worn out. I would choose that option (like Jiggs and Puddy) rather than dying in a hospital with tubes stuck up my nose.

norm said...

A sore subject for me. The tube thing.How to avoid that fate?

Steve Cotton said...

Living in Mexico may help. I live alone and at least an hour away from a hospital. That is a rather good recipe to avoid excessive medical care.

Felipe Zapata said...

Of course. You let no meal be lonely.

Steve Cotton said...

No good meal goes uneaten.

Shannon Casey said...

Your blog is very good for my vocabulary. I have to look something up every other post. You are right though, the cycle of life is somewhat, in your face, here.

Steve Cotton said...

The dictionary is one of my best friends.