Since this is a log of failure on he path to peace ond not a story of sucess, the following story should not be left out.
Mental proliferation, assumptions one thought leading to another, who does not lnow this. I do know it well. This is part of the suffering, thus far I have understood in 55 years of this exsistence. And yet, mara puts the trap and this silly nun steps right in.
One dog in the village is in heat. Many are, acally but Masher Muffinsson is profoundly enamored with this particular one. They met first when we went on almsround. She lives baan nai, in the few houses that mark the center of the illage. Masher and she tried to get together but she was surrounded by other male dogs. So there was no way. But Masher is totally Masher, a real dude, and he went back, faught the other males and won her heart and the pole position. Since then, he came home ocassionally to eat but he lost a lot of weight. He is only one year old, birthday the 5th of November.
Last week I had to go for a few days and now, living alone, I asked our neighbors to feed the dogs. I forgot to mention that Masher might not join every meal. So the first thing I heard when I came back was that Masher was gone. (They did not feed as arranged, the now rotten food of the day when Ieft was still in the pot). I called several times although he was out of hearing distance, after a while he came ate and dissapeared again. I told the neighbors not to worry, Masher is well and has a girlfriend, not time to come for the meals. They were very relieved.
A few days later, I hadn’t seen Masher for 2 days, suddnly a ‘troop’ appeared in the monastery consisting of another neighbor, her son who is soldier on vacation and another young man. They came straight to my kuti and kind of surrpunded it. Knowing they will not harm me and are not coming for me, I raised my hands in surrender, laughing. The woman said something about chickens, the young man was a bit irritated.
Chickens come at feeding times out of the blue, steal the dogs food and then dissapeare. The young man knew that, I had told him once. The family had guests and it seems they were in need of more food. Millitary like the 3 checked around my kuti, with the woman as commander, one boy was sent to check up the hill towards the forest, the other checked behind my kuti into the forest and she was slamming with a stick on bushes or underneath my kuti. I could manage to say in Thai ‘no killing in the monastery’ but that proofed to be not nessecary. Miraculously there was not a single chicken! Not long before the troop came there had been plenty but it was as of they had vaporised, they had just somehow dissapeared. The troop left. Outside of the monastery I heard a bang and send a blessing to the being that had lost its life.
That same day the neigborhood children who had been designated to feed the dogs came to my kuti to offer food. One of them, a girl is the above mentioned neigbprs daughter. She had been crying, her eyes were still red when they came. Then someone of that clan came to ask for medicine, then another one came to check for certain edible flowers.
Today, 2 days after this eventful day, Masher had not come for 4 days. And suddenly a story started to form in my mind. What if they didn’t come to kill a chicken but to kill a dog who killed a chicken. My Thai is so bad that I can easily misunderstand. What if the shoot was to kill Masher who was totally capable to kill chickens, if he wanted. They usually don’t give almsfood, they are more a superstitious animist family than Buddhists. Commonly they offer food, when they did something wrong. Maybe the children were send to offer food because they had killed Masher…and so on… I would leave when they killed him, I would find out…etc., etc. Hercky had been crying and sniffing all around, he would find Mashers dead body, if he was dead… Masher would not leave home for so long, he would not …
The morning had been sunny but like in a bollywood movie, a heavy rain started to fall with thunder and storm during the time I was indulging in the above mental proliferation. Luckily I remembered at some point, that I should observe my mind. Noticed that this mind is running wild in assumptions and accusations. It took some force to stop the train of thoughts. But once stopped I decided to just go and see if he is still in the area of his girlfriend, enjoying himself. When the rain stopped, I took some dogsfood, in case Masher would leave for so long, and Hercky and I went to look for him.
He must have heard us coming, he came running and quieking to greet us. Thin he was and happy that I brought food and so distracted manovering his love affair. He seemed still to be in pole position. He could not eat tranquil but run several times to his girlfriend to chase away other dogs. She was waiting for him in a bit of a distance. Tail close at the butt and growning and snathcing at other dogs but Masher. So that seems to be the doggish version of the ‘made for each other’ story.
As upset I had been to think of his death, before that I was actually thinking what to do with the dogs when I go away, as it might happen next year for even weeks up to months? It wouls be good if Masher had found a new home. Then I only need to find a home for Hercky.