November 16, 2008


As usual ran downstairs to Sra. Noriega's apartment early this morning to collect Lola for her daily run when I first noticed attached to the side of the front door the sign. A large, glossy sign. Of a huge, black rottweiler snarling and barking ferociously, labelled, in outsize font, cuidado con el perro.

Now Sra. Noriega's apartment is on the ground floor and she lives alone. (Whenever she and JA meet, it's always at 'his' apartment at Los Monteros.) And I know she feels vulnerable and exposed notwithstanding the high walls enclosing the apartment complex and the thick security gates encasing each individual block.

Doubtlessly though she's been advised by her elderly and equally nervous friends to get that sign which you see plastered beside the outside gate of practically every house here - whether or not an animal resides within. Invariably not.

Now Lola is a tiny, white bichon frise no bigger than the sign itself who likes nothing more - apart from the comfort of her basket - than to roll over on her side whenever she's petted. And, as I looked down at the snow-white curly bundle waddling beside me, I couldn't help laughing at the image conjured up of the other Lola, that snarling, savage beast intent on attacking all foolish enough to approach...

It's true Sra. Noriega may now have a sense of extra protection and security behind those reinforced doors and windows of hers. However, as Lola and I turned the corner (I running, she waddling - you get the drift) into yet another deserted street, it occurred to me that if anyone should feel vulnerable and defenceless at that godforsaken early hour, it certainly wasn't her!

Such bleak thoughts were abruptly interrupted by my mobile, however. It was P who's been briefly away on business and due back later today. I couldn't wait until then though to tell him my news.

About my meeting last night with Siralan and Toad of Toad Hall.

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