Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Blue Tounges & Snappy Dogs

One recent Thursday, after doing my usual morning shift at work, I went up to Mum’s, as is my wont on Thursdays.

As it is very dry and very hot at the moment I almost immediately started watering. (Using Dam water for those frustrated by water restrictions.)

It was not long before I was distracted by yapping dogs, and our own dogs at that. Although our two dogs are not that big and our yard not that small, George and Charlie appreciate the extra freedom of the still nearly 40 acres at my Mums, so whenever I/we go there, we try and take them with us, as we did today. Normally they run around the house quietly but not today. It was hot so they were poking around the yard under the trees, when they came upon something that they didn’t know or appreciate. So stopping what I was doing I went to investigate their yapping, suspecting that I knew what it was but also thinking it might be a snake.

No, I was right. It was only a blue tongue Lizard. So chasing the dogs away I went back to watering. A little later they were back there yapping again. This time I could see them from where I was and called them away briefly again, glancing at something nearby that had caught my attention. While I had been looking up at the dogs and the first Lizard, I had not noticed that I was standing less than a metre from another one, and may have even shortly stood on it if I was not careful.

Lizards at Mum’s are not unusual. In fact Mum encourages the Lizards to stay around as she believes that as long as there are Lizards around, there will be no snakes there. So far it has proven thus for many, many years now.

Yet a little later I heard the dogs yapping again, this time in the front yard, so again stopping what I was doing, I again went and investigated, again expecting the worse but hoping for the best. Again I was delighted to find it was only another Blue Tongue. This time one of the dogs (Charlie) actually made an attack on it before I could intervene. Fortunately no harm was done to either party and I again chased the dogs away, and left the Lizard alone.

Much later again, this time after I had just finished hosing the car down (again with Dam water) when the yapping started again. Yet again I investigated and yet again it was another Lizard. (Or one of the earlier ones, who knows?)

So what are the implications of the above? Well some times it seems that we spend a lot of our time yapping at things that are strange to us, even when they are not harmful to us, simply because we don’t know what they are. Rather than find out if they are good or bad we simply whine and yap, causing distractions to both ourselves and to others.

At other times instead of waiting and finding out if they are harmful or friendly we immediately go on the attack (Like Charlie) and try and harm those who are in fact friendly towards us, even if that help is often unknown, unseen , unrecognized and even un-appreciated.

At other times, a lot of our precious time is wasted checking out the noisy yapping of others about harmless situations, knowing that we can’t afford not to err on the side of caution in case there really is a deadly snake in the grass invading.

At times too, we can become so distracted by the yappings of others that we don’t realize what is happening literally at our own feet, as with me coming close to standing on another Lizard this morning.

Finally, how many Lizards did I actually see? I don’t know. Probably at least 3, maybe even 4. The thing is, it was enough for me to recognize that they were of no danger to me without any real need to actually identify each one. Again, we sometimes allow the interesting but unimportant things, to distract us from concentrating on our original task at hand.

Instead we should simply leave them alone to do their thing while we do our own. Which is what I am going to do now by signing off.


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