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Monday, October 4, 2010

Pushy Visitors

When I came back at noon from running errands today, Lawrence had to tell me that Bow had misbehaved while I was gone. Bow was making a lot of raspberry sounds, so it was hard for me to hear what Lawrence was saying. "It's because ... came by," was all I could hear.

"Who came by?"

"Jehovah's Witnesses. ... You've heard of Jehovah's Witnesses?"

Well, who hasn't heard of Jehovah's Witnesses? Of course, I had. In fact, Bow and I have met a lot of Jehovah's Witnesses. There was a time when Bow was riding on my back all day, and the only kind of rest I could get was to sit with him on the front porch for a while. It was before he was confined to the pens. Before there were any pens. But it was after I could no longer allow him to move freely through the house. As long as I held him, or he was riding on my back, Bow behaved well. But if I put him down, he would run around like a madman, leaving destruction and chaos in his wake.

At first, I told myself that I would get things done while we sat there on the porch. I brought out a canvas and paints, but Bow would not let me concentrate even on that. The moment I had my back turned, he'd snatch a tube of paint, and before I knew it, he had swallowed all of its contents.

So it was that when the Jehovah's Witnesses dropped by, they always found me sitting on the porch with Bow, doing nothing. They would come by, and they were polite but persistent, and they would not leave unless I  accepted a pamphlet. I tried not to argue with them so as not to prolong the visit, and also because Bow can sense even the slightest animosity between people, and it can set him off. But as soon as the Jehovah's Witnesses had driven away, I would turn to Bow and ask: "Do you want to read this book?" He was always very interested, but as soon as he had finished reading it, he would start chewing on the edges. This would happen every time the Jehovah's Witnesses came by, until one day they caught Bow with one of their pamphlets. "These are very valuable, and they cost a lot of money to print," they told me. "If that's what you're going to do with them, we're not going to bring you any more."

"Okay," I said as meekly as I could. And that's how I got the Jehovah's Witnesses to stop coming by. And they haven't been here for years!

But today they dropped by again, and they wouldn't take no for an answer, even though Lawrence told them that he had his own beliefs, and that he doesn't live here, and that he was working, and that he had to get back to Bow. Nothing could convince them not to leave their booklet. So finally in desperation Lawrence said: "Fine, give me the booklet."

When he got back to Bow, Bow had peed in several different places in protest.

"Why were you bad?" I asked Bow at lunch.

"Because a bad man came to bother us."

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