I guess I was probably around 3 when my best friend came to live with me. He was mostly collie and his name was Micky.
We lived in the country and together Micky and I explored the edges of our known universe. We oversaw lots of things in that part of the county. But periodically it seemed like there would be some kind of shift in the karma. We would suddenly wind up in trouble, apparently just because we were trying to keep order in the neighborhood. Invariably it would start when we were out on one of our patrols. We might be checking on the condition of the cemetery a ways down the road. It really wasn’t all that far. Maybe it would be when we were making sure trains stayed on the track a little further down the road in the other direction, or when we were investigating some other anomaly that needed our immediate attention.
The problem seemed to be exacerbated by my mom deciding to look for us. And it always involved some nosy neighbor going out of his way to rat on us. The world was full of leakers even way back then. When we would finally get back home, or were apprehended, we would have to stand trial before my mom and dad. They always demanded an explanation for why we were all the way over there, wherever there was. Why had we “run away”. What did run away mean? We didn’t know, but there and run away must have been important concepts.
Our punishment on those occasions became very predictable. I would have to go sit on the big red mohair couch in the living room and think about how bad I had been. I knew the couch was red but didn’t know it was mohair until years later. I wondered! Did my parents like Micky more that me? They never once interrogated him the way they did me. Or was it just because they couldn’t think of a punishment for him? After all he wasn’t allowed to sit on the couch. Whatever the reason he usually just laid on the floor waiting for me to be paroled.
After a couple of those trials and incarcerations we came to know exactly how our imprisonment would go down. After a few days siting there my mom or dad would come in the room and say: “if I let you get up do you promise not to run away”? There were those same words again! I knew I needed to learn about them. But regardless of what they meant I also knew that was my cue to shake my head up and down emphatically. And it worked. They always let me go. Then Micky and I could take up where we had left off, until the next cosmic shift in the natural order of things.