We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Anna, my daughter, you have a black dog that noses your heel, selfless as a shadow; here is a fable about a black dog: On the last sunrise the shadow dressed with Him, it stretched itself also— they were two big men with one job to do. But life had been lent to one only for this life. They strode in silence toward uncontradicting night. The rats at the Last Supper shared crumbs with their shadows, the shadow of the bread was shared by the bread; when the candles lowered, the shadow felt larger, so He ordered it to leave; He said where He was going it would not be needed, for there there’d be either radiance or nothing. It stopped when He turned and ordered it home, then it resumed the scent; it felt itself stretching as the sun grew small like the eyes of the soldiers receding into holes under the petrified serpents on their helmets; the narrowing pupils glinted like nailheads, so before He lay back it crept between the wood as if it were the pallet they had always shared; it crept between the wood and the flesh nailed to the wood and it rose like a black flag as the crossbeam hoisted itself and the eyes closed very slowly extinguishing the shadow— everything was nothing. Then the shadow slunk away, crawling low on its belly, and it left there knowing that never again would He ever need it; it reentered the earth, it didn’t eat for three days, it didn’t go out, then it peeped out carefully like a mole from its hole, like a wolf after winter, like a surreptitious serpent, looking for those forms that could give back its shape; then it ran out when the bells began making wide rings and rings of radiance; it keeps nosing for His shape and it finds it again, in the white echo of a pigeon with its wings extended like a shirt on a clothesline, like a white shirt on Monday dripping from a clothesline, like the greeting of a scarecrow or a man yawning at the end of a field.