The true story was amputated after the last parenthetical/italicized entry ending with, ". . .VERY quiet.". In reviewing it today, I noticed that the title - "On the Other Hand" - was never changed and stares back at me accusingly, "How come you left that other hand behind your back, Lorane?"
by the news, which is kept on at a low volume all day. I was feeling so ostracized I was certain even William DeVane would refuse to let me see his wall safe. Perhaps of more consequence, I was nagged by the reaction the truth would have on kids; the questions parents might have to answer; the soul-searching I might be forced to do.
If by some fluke, this little angel heard someone talking about the goings on, was it fair to have Daddy Matt be forced to give her some sort of explanation? IS there an explanation?
There were reasons generating my reluctance:
Husband: "Why don't you just write what went on?"
Me: "Fear of potential consequences; loathe to report an ugly truth."
Resolution: I've been convinced that I have an obligation - along the lines of a PSA - to at least finish documenting what I knew of the matter.
I was about to do just that yesterday when my tablet announced it would be 'down' for a day installing important updates. Reprieve. I was able to deal with the annual pollen blizzard which, predictably coincides with the mating season of our local wasp population (think etymology, not genealogy). The latter, due to allergies, is a potentially life-threatening event for me so I called Mr. Hornet/Wasp remover STAT.
Then it was business-as-usual, wandering around with a can od wasp spray in one hand and a sturdy lint remover roller in the other. Daily, I can roll up basketful of particulate matter - especially when some residents don't use doormats.
I'd reached the end of my temperamental tether and was checking my own tennis shoe treads (I was fairly sure the wasps were shoeless) when I decided to get out, walk, drink in the sun - mull it all over. Tomorrow would come.
The gentleman in the house across from Lappy and to the left, has a white toy poodle. Our newest neighbors (? four months) have a terrier - Tabby, who is walked regularly on our street and the street perpendicular to ours - home to white poodle, Tabby, Lappy and Dicey. Next door to white poodle, the family originally had one Rottweiler, Bullet, and hen inherited Mom's brother's mixed breed, fluffy, red Diva. From the outset, Diva was not friendly to other dogs and our 'involvement' began on a day I was walking Bridie and when we approached Lappy and
Dicey's house, Bridie was very focused because their 'mommy' LOVES to share treats.
So it was that we were caught unawares when Diva lunged out from behind a bush on her lawn and attacked/bit Bridie. The injury was not nearly as troublesome as separating the dogs as my back surgery (temporarily, I hope) robbed me of my usual Olympian speed/dexterity. Finally, we were out of range and had our usual long, pleasant walk. Returning home became an 'issue'. Bridie would not willingly walk past Diva's house. This scene was repeated once again a few weeks later so I had a chat with the very embarrassed owner.
Interestingly, Lappy and Dicey were never on Diva's hit list but then, it was Diva's 'Mom' who had rescued Lappy from the dog-less next door neighbor when Lappy was a pup. Maybe Diva just felt that, like her owner, she was to take care of, not harm the guys across the street. Our new neighbor's Tabby, was not in the same category. In fact in a period of a month, Tabby was assaulted/bitten three times - with her owner falling during the last tussle. To say the least, Diva was wearing a black hat.
While on the topic of 'bad guys', let's recall that Lappy's predecessor, the chocolate lab as well as her buddy, the swimming pug, had 'gone missing' three years ago and folks were looking somewhat askance at the dog-less household. New neighbor's hubby, understandably peeved, had a heart to heart with Diva's Daddy and for about two weeks, all was quiet on the canine front.
Then. Signs went up all over the neighborhood with full-color pictures of DIVA! She 'went missing' on March 17th, a day her 'daddy' said the dog less ones went away on vacation. New neighbor and I were walking less anxiously, Lappy and Dicey's 'folks' were sure the dog-less household was involved. White toy poodle's 'daddy' was acting as though nothing had happened. (He's a pal of dog-less) The kids were devastated and Bullet was VERY twitchy.
The original posters offered a reward and gave contact numbers. On 'walk-break' day, the object of repulsion was the addition of a poster addendum (please see photo above). It asks for ANY information leading to the discovery of the person(s) who tortured, beat and killed Diva, leaving her thusly mutilated body to be found by the head of the household in a church across the road from the neighborhood entrance.
We have had occasion to see/talk with the children, stressing the futility of hate/vengeance and the power of prayer. I think, too, of the evil of pre-judgment. Of only one thing am I certain. Diva does not hurt and will not hurt anymore. What is the lesson of Diva? That will have to be a personal conclusion/decision. Time heals. Memories fade. Why is it that the one indestructible constant is unabashed EVIL?
Godspeed. Later, Lorane. . . .