Monday, March 31, 2008

Digging oneself into a hole

We once had a dog called jess. I loved Jess dearly and, in her doggy way, she loved me.

You can imagine the distress she caused when she went missing. We looked for her everywhere. But something told me that she was not far away. While the rest of the family were searching around the area, I took yet another look around the perimeter of the garden, paying particular attention to where my husband keeps what I call rubbish, but which he calls valuable stocks of building materials — wood, bricks, blocks and so on. I seemed to recall Jess taking interest in mouse holes that exist close to the stone wall that divides the garden from a field. I called her name but did not expect a response because she rarely barked. But I thought I heard a faint whimper. Or was it wishful thinking? I went closer to the pile of wood and saw a narrow slit in the ground. Not big enough for a dog to get through but I tried to peer in just the same. I thought I saw movement. I was right. Jess was there and she started scratching to get out. I quickly realised she had been digging herself into the hole! It was now deep and she could not get a grip to get out. She had been digging deeper and piling the earth up from where she had dug herself in. I got down and put my arm inside but could not grasp her. She was getting quite distressed and so was I. I was fearful everything would collapse on top of her and she would be completely buried. I ran to get help. The men soon got her out. Oh why didn't she bark to let us know where she was?

Thinking of that incident, made me think of how we humans can be very good at digging ourselves into holes we can't get out of. At least this human — me! I have been doing a lot of it lately. Unfortunately, like Jess, we often keep quiet and go on digging deeper. It can be most distressing, and yet pride, shame, or whatever, prevents us from yelling "HELP, I'm stuck. Please help me out. I'm digging myself into a hole. Of course, better not to start digging in the first place!

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