The other night, about 6.30pm the rain had eased and the Ballerina and I set out for a walk with our dog. Matilda is an old dog now, 16 years of age with all manner of ailments. But she still loves her walk, getting excited when she sees the leash. She goes in a wonky circle and wags her tail. She can't walk too far these days but she is always keen to go.
So we set off. Along the way we came across a child's wagon at some ones's front fence with some lemons in it. A sign declared "Free lemons. Please take" So I dutifully obliged, putting some in the pockets of my coat. We continued on our way, chatting as we went. The lemons felt pleasantly heavy in my pockets.
A bit further on we came to a corner and a road to cross. We had just got across the road when out of the corner of my eye I spotted a giant dog charging across the road, towards us. I swung around pulling Matilda away from the road just as the dog descended upon us. It all happened so fast. I screamed as the dog jumped onto Matilda's back, forcing her onto the ground. Two cars stopped, obviously aware of the potential for a diastrous situation. The dog, a German Shepherd took off. I heard someone calling it from up the street. Thankfully, Matilda was unhurt, but clearly shocked and unable to get up at first. The driver of the car closest to us, came running over. He said he saw what appeared like a lion running across the road. A bit of discussion and checking that we were OK followed. Then he revealed "I know this dog. I've seen it from my place. You are my neighbour" What a surprise. I had no idea who had moved into the new place at the back of us. In fact I only know a few neighbours to wave to, and even fewer to have a chat to. And only one to call on if I need any help. Such a difference from the neighbourhood of my childhood. A street where everyone knew everyone. A street where you had a multutude of playmates. A street where you could 'borrow' a cup of sugar. Although times have changed, it is nice to know that people do still care about their neighbours.