Friday, November 13, 2009

OPINION: Sylvia Makes Difference To The World And Catron County

by Anne Sullivan

“Any messages for me?” Sylvia asked when I let her in for breakfast.
“No, no messages for you and no messages for me,” I replied as I poured her kibble into her
“I don’t understand it,” she said between bites. “I haven’t heard a word from Washington about my trip there to solve the Health Insurance Crisis. Do you suppose they didn’t get my e-mail?”
“It’s possible. Anything can happen with an e-mail. Sent often means sent into the air never to be seen again.”
“I guess I don’t really trust e-mail,” Sylvia said, licking her now-empty dish.
“It’s wise to be suspicious,” I agreed.
“I don’t think you realize how much I really want to go,” she said, with a final vigorous lick which sent her bowl scooting across the linoleum floor.
“Why do you want to go so much?” I asked. “You hate to travel.”
“I do hate to travel but I want to make a difference. I want to help everyone -- both people and dogs and even cats. And yes, I wouldn’t mind if I got my picture in the Sunday Sage Magazine or if Brian Williams interviewed me for a segment on the NBC Nightly News.”
“Before you get interviewed you would have to have a bath and you’d need to rehearse doing an interview. We could do a trial interview now. Let’s pretend I’m Brian Williams.”
“That will be difficult but better than taking a bath.”
“Alright, Sylvia, from now on I’m Brian Williams. Good evening, Sylvia, thank you for coming to our studio in Rockefeller Center.”
Sylvia glared at me until I nudged her. “Now what do you say?” I prompted.
“I don’t have a mike.”
“Never mind the mike. Just imagine it.”
Glowering, Sylvia replied, “Good evening, Brian, it’s so nice to be here.”
“Now, Sylvia, I understand you have made a big difference to the United States and to the world and most of all to a place called Catron County. Tell us what it is you do.”
Sylvia looked blank. I said, “Go on, Sylvia, don’t be shy.”
Sylvia finally spoke albeit haltingly, “What I do is – well – I decided that people need to be happier. Like dogs, they need a few pats to keep them going. That’s in addition to food, of course. So, every time I see a person – or an animal – doing something nice, I wag my tail and then I lick them and offer them some of my kibble.”
“That’s very commendable, Sylvia,” said Brian Williams a.k.a. me. “Do you see many people doing nice things?”
“No,” she said, “I don’t see many people at all, living up here in the canyon as I do. I did see Gordo washing himself very strenuously this morning and I thought that was good. I didn’t want to lick him because he’s a cat, you know, and I might catch something horrible like HINI but I gave him some of my kibble.”
“And what did he say to that? Was he surprised?”
“I guess he was. He looked at me as though I was crazy. He started to eat the kibble but I guess he didn’t like it because he spat it out. Then a big blue jay flew over and ate the kibble and Gordo swore at it.”
“Oh, dear,” said Brian Williams. “And what did you do then?”
“I really wanted to kill that bird but I decided I had to make a difference and turn the other cheek so I gave the bird another handful of kibble. He hadn’t done anything to deserve it yet but it was a sort of payment ahead.”
“And did the bird do anything to redeem himself and be worthy of the faith and kibble you have in him?”
“No,” said Sylvia.
“Well, Rome wasn’t built in a day,” said Brian Williams with a big smile. “Now, Sylvia, to conclude our interview is there anything you’d like to say to the viewing public?”
“No,” said Sylvia.-

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