Caged Beasts


Even if you don’t live in the DC area, you are no doubt aware that we here are waay past “Winter Wonderland,” and into “Wonder When It Will Ever End?” Let me count the ways this heinous weather pattern has gotten up all our noses. Intrusion: we are all under house arrest today, no matter how many hours we have already spent shoveling our driveways. Fear: as the howling winds threaten to blow our tall, spindly trees onto our house [and maybe even our heads]. As I write, we have so far been spared loss of power; but thousands have not, and are already enduring the pain & suffering of no heat, no light and [here in the countryside] no water. But, as usual, it is humiliation that seems to have turned the area’s no-ruder-than-most drivers into what-are-they-thinking-damn-the-torpedoes-full-speed-ahead suicidal/homicidal maniacs. As today’s [soggy] Washington Post Op-Ed article put it, “The snow has fallen, and the flakes are on the road.”

Unlike folks in, say, Michigan, who have grasped through years of trial & error [and no-fault collisions], the humbling fact that 4-wheel drive vehicles are not laws-of-physics-defying Batmobiles which can overcome anything Mother Nature can dish out, these Mid-Atlantic road warriors…have not. Yesterday, for a change, it wasn’t even actively snowing; and I witnessed 3 harrowing collisions, not to mention many flip-overs, all involving SUVs. They “didn’t spend all that money on an all-weather’ vehicle, to wuss around at half-speed just cuz of a little snow!” It’s loss of face they can’t abide, not loss of traction.

Meanwhile, this Winter of Our Discontent has taken its toll on Lili, who is used to her daily one-hour constitutional, featuring brisk trotting and exuberant running. Chris & I found one plowed section of road on the school grounds [about 100 meters long] over the weekend, and ran her to-and-fro between us like a yo-yo, commanding her, “A so ko” [over there] and “Oy i [d]e” [come to me], until [like the old mare, Dusk] she slowed to a walk. No such cleared road exists in our county today, however, so it’s plow through the 4-ft-deep snow in our yard, or pout on the porch, for our caged beast.

So far, I must say, she has maintained her “good sense, good judgment and self-control,” better than most of the snow-bound humans around here have. [I figure, it’s because she is dealing with less humiliation, innit?]

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Filed under born to run, gets right up my nose, limbic system, stress and cortisol

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