When I was a kid, there was this funny old German couple who lived down the street from me, with a funny old dog that seemed to be as old as they were. The old man would walk up and down our street every single day with that dog. When they both got too frail to walk that far, they rode together in a scooter, with the little dog happily perched in a basket on the front.

One day, as I went for a walk I saw the little dog running along the footpath. The old lady stood out the front of the house, calling after him. She couldn’t give chase, so she just watched on helplessly as her dog ambled towards the busy main road. I took off after the dog, picked him up and carried him back to her. The lady was overjoyed and thanked me over and over. She invited me into her house and together with her husband she showed me around, telling me I was welcome to borrow their books, listen to their records, and swim in their pool anytime they wanted. I think they would have offered me the world if they could have, they were so happy to have their dog home safe. It was all very strange and overwhelming for me, especially seeing as I couldn’t really understand them.

Eventually, I managed to extricate myself from the house and head home. But an hour later the old lady was knocking at my door. She had gathered up a bag of cucumbers from her garden to give to me as a reward. Just cucumbers. Lots and lots of cucumbers. More cucumbers than any one person could ever need.

For some reason today I just remembered that afternoon, many years ago, when I went out for a walk and came home a hero, showered in vegetable glory.

I don’t know, I just wanted to share that story.


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