I’m sitting in a shady part of the backyard, spacing out at nothing in particular and not even trying to think up something to write, when Hamish comes over and quietly curls up next to my chair.
“You look sad, Raud,” he says, looking up at me.
“I got into a fight last night and I hate getting into fights.”
Hamish jumps up and calls to the others. “ Get over here. Raud got into a fight.”
Franny and Huckleberry run over. “Is he bit?” Huckleberry asks.
“We’ll clean it for you, Raud,” Franny says, sniffing my legs for injuries.
“Calm down, you guys. I’m not bit,” I say.
Hamish smiles and nods his head. “So you won the fight. That’s good.”
I shake my head. “Nobody won anything because it wasn’t that sort of fight. I should’ve said argument.”
Huckleberry looks over at Hamish, but says to me, “Someone took your stick, eh?”
I now notice Hamish has a stick I saw Huckleberry with earlier. “Actually, when I think about it, the argument was really about personal boundaries,” I say.
The dogs tilt their heads at one another and then at me. “What are personal boundaries?” they ask.
“Some of my friends and I hold very strong opinions on certain topics that are polar opposites, so I make a point of steering clear of these topics so that we can remain friends, but last night a friend and I stumbled into one of these topics and it didn’t end well.”
Huckleberry tilts his head at Franny, and since she’s the oldest, he asks her, “Can you explain what he’s saying? He’s making no sense to me.”
“Well…” she says and pauses to think a moment. “It sounds like he sat too close to his friend’s food bowl when there was still food in it.”
“Oh, that’s not good,” Huckleberry says, glancing at Hamish.
Hamish grins at Huck, then looks up at me. “It’s okay, Raud. Once you learn that lesson you don’t need to learn it again.”