Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: Bestie (05/22/14)
TITLE: On Clean-up Duty
By Francy Judge
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Mornings. To ease our morning rush routine, I resort to putting my friend outside on a leash tied to the fence; she can roam free but not too free, and I can pick up her little piles later, or let inclement weather take care of it. Backtrack two months…
Winter. This winter was unusually white here like most places. Poor Bella was up to her ears in snow and not too happy about her predicament. Since I was always the first to wake, I had to shovel a four square foot space to allow for Bella to run in circles, do her pre-business dance. She’d look at me, concerned, her eyes asking: “How can I find a good spot in this size space? Is this stuff ever going away?” I sympathized with my fine friend, but couldn’t totally relate. Eventually, she’d do her thing and hurry inside to share her snow with me. Since five AM was just too early to pick up piles, they remained hidden and gradually packed under new fallen snow layers…the positive side of unwanted weather.
Clean-up duty. I’m not talking the everyday walk-the-dog-with-bag-for-scooping-up-clean-up. I’m talking the real time-consuming jobs, like earlier today. I glance out my kitchen window to check on my furry friend and watch her play her favorite sport of bark at anything that moves. She does have talent for being loud for her size. The snow is gone, so I can easily see where my Bella did her circles yesterday. From a distance, someone might think a piñata had burst supplying the yard with open tootsie rolls.
Bella’s circles have grown into crazy figure eights. Back and forth, stop and squat. Nothing happens, and she repeats this new dance five times until she looks my way. Her eyes plead, “Can you do something to help me, please?” As she turns, I realize her new dilemma. A drooping piece of poo won’t fall; it dangles from under her tail. As I open the door to see how I may help Bella, she dashes inside, still hooked to her leash. Now the poo falls near my feet on the kitchen floor. I know she expects her best friend to help, but I scream and nudge her back outdoors. She does try to clean herself in the mud. Poor Bella. Now she’s filthy all over.
Totally disgusted. After I clean the kitchen floor mess, I let her back in to deal with her backside. I’m sure I’ve cleaned worse messes on my own children in the baby years, yet fur adds to the challenge of the task before me. Holding Bella’s collar, I wipe her with soapy paper towels as she tries to wiggle away. A bath might’ve helped, but I do have to get to work soon.
A new solution. I try to hide the scissors from Bella so she won’t panic as I cut the poo off with her long dirty fur. A tangled mess covers the floor. I snip as close as possible until her high pitched bark informs me I cut too close. Does she feel betrayed by her best friend? Why am I torturing her like this? I’m sorry, Bella, but trust me…I am the only member of this family who would go to this extent to help you. I admit her new hairstyle is amateur all the way. I hope to trim her front half to match her back half when I have time, if she lets me.
Even after the entire morning trauma, as I leave for work, I hear Bella crying for me from my mother-in-law’s porch. I know she’s saying, “Don’t go! Stay home with me!”
Revelation. As I bike to work, leaving the yelps behind, I think about God cleaning up my messes. Sometimes the sin clings as old habits surface. I run around in circles trying to shake it off in my own strength. But He is patient, wanting to help me clean up. Jesus loves me as a best friend, giving His life to make me new. I can trust Him as He trims the refuse away.
My furry friend’s name has been changed to protect her privacy.
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