My Saturday afternoon was taken over by a game of soccer. I wasn’t watching it, as it wasn’t on TV, or on a local pitch.
I will start at the beginning. The dog next door was barking, not unusual so I paid no attention while I was gardening, weeding to be exact.
The two young voices got me curious.
“I wouldn’t go in there. He looks mental.”
“Hey anybody at home?” This was repeated over and over again.
I stood on a bucket and peeped over the wall. “What’s up””
“Ah missus, this dog is sounding and looking a bit mad. Our ball is in the back and we dare not go in.” The speaker was ten at the most and was twisting the ends of his tee shirt around his hand as he spoke. His friend was hanging back close to the road in case the old woman turned out to be as crazy as the dog.
I nodded. “No bother, just go round the back of the house and tell me where you think it is.”
Easy peasy, I thought as I walked through my garden and hopped the lower wall into my neighbours. “Hi Boot, ” I continued to talk to the black labrador who is overweight enough to resemble a sealion. He and I walked around the large house and entered the back garden. I stood and scratched my head. The hedge was almost as thick as the house.
So the next ten minutes were spent with me scurrying up and down the hedge, dropping to my knees and peering into it. Boot watched all of this with interest. I suppose it was the most excitement he had in hours.
We found, three footballs, one frisbee and one shoe. None of which belonged to the boys. However we did find their mate Derek’s ball. Finally, tired of wearing a hedge, I became Judge Judy.
“Right, here you go, Derek’s ball and one for you guys.” I handed the better looking of the two balls over amidst a protest of “we can’t take someone elses ball?”
“Well it is all I have, take it or leave it and if you are asked where you got it,” I hesitated tempted to say — don’t tell them it was me. “Tell them I gave it to you.”
I returned home wearing a good bit of that hedge along with scratches and scrapes. Could I count this as a random act of kindness or plain stupidity? I will let you decide.