It was after midnight. While the sky was clear and the stars were sparkling, there was no moonlight as the moon was new. I walked briskly down the street, but after a long day of sales presentations and meetings, inside I was tired and dragging. On each side of me dark houses loomed. There were no street lights.
I whistled. I called softly, not wanting to stir the neighbors, up the winding street and back, and then I retraced the trail all over again.
Occasionally I would hear a stirring, a rustling in the brush. And then a barking dog, but it only retreated as I moved closer to the sound.
Once as I walked back toward home, I heard the soft clicking sound of feet upon the roadway behind. I turned. I waited silently. I called out again, but I could see nothing.
It had been fruitless. I trudged home dispirited, but as I turned up the driveway I could hear the phone ringing. I rushed to the door and grabbed the receiver. It was now 1:30 in the morning and it was my neighbor from up the street.
“Got your dog, Jerry,” Steve said. “She was barking outside our back door. I think it’s your Molly.” Much chagrined, I hurried back down the street and collected Molly from a just-awakened friend. Apologizing profusely, I attached a lead to Molly’s collar, removed the useless electronic fence neck band from her, and silently marched the cowering dog back home.
She knew she’d done wrong, but she just couldn’t help herself.
Four days later the crime was repeated. This time it was in broad daylight, as I witnessed Molly’s arch-enemy, the brown squirrel, lure her off our property.
Molly, of course, came up empty handed (empty pawed?) in her pursuit. She then plunged into the thick brush of the wetlands, as I, in turn, pursued her. This, however, proved her undoing. The only easy exit from the wet and muddy thicket led onto the neighbor’s dock, where she was trapped (between water and a hard place) and captured.
And they say that herding cats is difficult!
Of course, this week’s analogy to the stock market should be pretty straightforward. And it works on a couple of levels.
All the best,