When Life Leaves You a Little Note

A couple days ago I was on my way up to ‘The Fred’ (the Frederik Hendriklaan, our neighborhood shopping street nearby) to run some errands. 

I strode purposefully, lost in thought as I went over my mental ‘to do’ list.

Suddenly, out of the corner of my eye, I noticed a flutter of movement.

I glanced over and down. There, tacked into one of the trees lining the sidewalk, was a little note.

Its contents were hastily scribbled in cursive handwriting with red ink.

 ‘Hondje, heb je geen zakje?‘ it read, with an arrow pointing to the little pile of dog poop at the base of the tree. (Doggy, don’t you have a bag?)

It took me aback. What an interesting way to implore dog-owners to clean up after their pets – appealing to the dog itself to bag up its ‘deposit’.

And how unusual to tack the note into the tree.

(Didn’t the note-writer care about the poor tree? The tree might actually appreciate the dog ‘fertilizer’ and not appreciate the tack in its side. I don’t know. I’m just saying.)

‘What’s up with the red ink?’ I wondered. Did the person rush into their house, infuriated by yet another ‘contribution’ by the tree, and grab the nearest pen to scribble out the note?

Clearly the author was trying to make a point, in as nice a way as possible.

I’d give them a 9.0 for content and a 6.8 for execution.

But seriously? When you think about it, really think about it, what a great metaphor for life.

How often do we rush through life, sure of our intentions yet oblivious to those of others? How often are we the dog (owner), caught without the bag stuffed in their coat pocket?

Just like the hondjes, we’d all do well to remember to carry our own bags and clean up after our own messes.


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