Green cactus; Red rock

Green cactus; Red rock
photo by Linda Hoffman Kimball

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Carmax Cattle Dog

Carmax Cattle Dog
By Linda Hoffman Kimball

While waiting for my estimate
I start up a conversation with the white haired woman
with the dog in the customer service room.
The woman has clear blue eyes and a broad Midwestern accent.
The dog, keen and alert, smiles up at me expectantly.
She – the dog, not the woman – looks like she’s part wolf or coyote.
“She’s an Australian Cattle Dog,” the woman explains.
“Most people think she’s a small German Shepherd,”
The dog lies fondly and obediently at the woman’s feet,
Brown eyes wide open, observing everything.
“They try all sorts of combination for this kind of dog.
They need just the right mix for the work they have to do.
She’s active all day long.”

Before me is a small dog bred for keeping massive Aussie cattle
On the hoof and in the herd.
In her suburban adopted land what challenge, what satisfaction
Is there in keeping an eye on plastic chairs
In the Carmax waiting room?
What if, I wonder, I, too, have ancestral impulses:
A primal knowledge of planting the best seeds
Perfectly by the phases of the moon;
a gift for handling clay and forming it
into aesthetically fine and practical forms;
a knack for sussing out water and minerals
hidden deep within the earth?
Is this why I am, like this lovely animal,
Restless because the tasks required of me now
Have no bearing on what I was anciently meant to do?

I'm trading in my car of the last 6 years for a diesel engine vehicle. I went to Carmax yesterday to see how much they'd give me for it. Little did I know I'd have an existential moment in the waiting room while Noah and Noel checked out my vehicle.

1 comment:

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