“By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes.”
― William Shakespeare,
I was out walking my dog, Hamish Macbeth, when I saw him for the first and only time.
He was a homeless man- his shoes didn’t match and there were leaves in his hair and his jeans were too big- or maybe they used to fit him at one time. They looked very old and worn and they were covered in the same grime that clung to his arms and face.
He stopped and yelled – ” I’m going to shoot that dumb animal of yours. Do you hear me? I’m gonna blow that dumb animal’s head off!”
My dog sat and then he crouched- which is what he does before he launches himself into the air. He’s a big dog but Hamish Macbeth has launched himself a good five feet into the air to get on top of rockeries and playground toys with little to no effort.
I gently tugged at his leash and when Hamish stood he looked at the man and then he looked to the man’s left. ” I’m gonna shoot it right between it’s eyes!”
The fur on Hamish’s shoulders and hackles went up and he wagged his tail slowly from side to side and kept looking right past the man just to his left. By nature Hamish is not an aggressive dog- so everything about what he was doing was so out of character that I was more focused on Hamish then the Yelling Man.
I work near a homeless shelter- I see people like the Yelling Man everyday. I hate to say it, but I’m probably not as cautious as I should be anymore. I’ve just learned to keep one eye opened and move along.
” Stop looking at me! You hear me? Stop your looking at me or I’ll shoot that dumb animal of yours.”
I wasn’t looking at the man. I was walking and watching him out of the corner of my eye.
Hamish Macbeth and I walked away and then Hamish swung his head around and did his dog smile and twirled his tail around in a lazy circle and the man yelled and yelled to stop laughing at him.
” I don’t give you my say so to see me! You hear me? Do it again and I’ll kill that dumb animal of yours! See if I don’t!”
I figured it was better to not let the Yelling Man see where I lived so I walked passed my home and turned the corner. When I felt the time was right I took a peek and he was gone.
When Hamish and I got home and settled in I went back over what had happened.
What really stuck in my mind’s eye was the way Hamish seemed to focus to the Yelling Man’s side and I wondered if he had something in his hand- what was it I wondered did Hamish see?
Much later- because that’s when the dark events of the day crowd into my head waiting for a nightmare to occupy I suppose- I realized that the man wasn’t talking to me- he was talking to Hamish.
He was telling Hamish to not look at him, to stop laughing at him, to not ‘see him’ without his say-so.
I was the dumb animal he was threatening to shoot.
And I wondered and I still do what was at the Yelling Man’s side, because I think that whatever it was.
Hamish saw it.
Daily Prompt: Observe