Picture from the walk:
Today we passed a lady with a walker and Shimmer uncharacteristically zoomed in on her jacket pocket. By that I mean he purposefully walked over and put his nose on her pocket. I apologized and she laughed. I joked that he must have smelled a treat, and she said, in fact, she did have one there. She fished a Milk Bone out of her pocket and handed it to him, which he politely took. I thanked her and we walked away.
I noticed that Shimmer hadn’t automatically eaten the treat. When we turned the corner, and walked out of the lady’s sight, Shimmer spit the Milk Bone out.
My question is, how did Shimmer learn to be so polite?
I thought of visits with my great-grandma. After the folks had got all caught up and it was time to go, she would present us with a bowl of hard candy. It was always the same bowl with the same candy that over the years had grown into one hard lump. But just like our parents told us to do, we’d chisel out a dust-covered lemon ball or a tobacco-flaked butterscotch ball, pop it into our mouths, and say thank you. Then, we’d spit them out once we got into the car.
I’m guessing Shimmer’s treat had been in the lady’s pocket for Lord knows how long. Maybe Shimmer knew what my parents knew. Why not make someone happy and take their gifts gracefully? You can always spit that nasty thing out later.
Today we ran across two mailmen staring up at a tree and having a discussion.
“It’s an owl,” said one of the mailmen.
“No, it’s a hawk,” said the other.
“That’s an owl.”
“It’s a hawk.”
Shimmer, not one to pass up such a scintillating conversation, stopped to listen (and possibly be offered treats, or at the very least, be admired). To his disappointment, they ignored him and continued wondering what kind of bird was in the tree. I told him we had been hearing owls at night, and this could be one one of them. I took a picture and we all studied it.
“It’s an owl.”
“No, it’s a hawk.”
Shimmer, sensing their argument wasn’t going anywhere soon, suggested we leave and go look at squirrels. At least we’re confident about what they look like.