Thursday, December 1, 2016

MORE AROUND THE VILLAGE (A)

After being forced, by his mama, to watch and learn English from the sports tapes and films sometimes. Mekkar would put some of those new skills that he had learned into practice. For example, he would go outside afterward to play, but he had to use many words that he heard in the English language so far. That is, from the teaching materials his parents had acquired just for him. Sometimes going to great lengths to get them for him, while they were on their travels around the world. Later on, when he got older Mekkar would be required to gather these materials for himself.

At other times, his mama would bark at Mekkar that he could only speak in the english language and no other, just after his lessons and while playing with the dogs. The reasons for this were that not only to force Mekkar to quickly learn english as an asset for the family businesses but also because his godparents dog understood english along with 9 other languages. Attu has escorted Mekkar’s godparents around the world to more places than many people on their globe trotting adventures. So, Mekkar would be found practicing his new found lingual skills would not be too much of a foreign thing to Attu. Now, Attu was not a small dog when Mekkar’s godparents purchased him, when he was young, under mysterious circumstances in Siberia, Russia. Attu was a half Siberian husky/Malamute mix with black, gray, and white colors in his thick coat of hair. Attu’s weight fluctuated between 160 to 180 pounds as an adult and he ate a lot. As Mekkar’s god mama would say, “Eat her out of house and home”.

Attu was a very playful dog especially with little Mekkar. One time when an excited Native from the North brought outside a football, they got on a journey to America, to play with the dog. In Mekkar’s mind, playing with the dog this time was seen as a relief that the language study time required by mama was over and he wanted to get as far away from it as possible. This is a strategy that many kids use around the world to get away from unpleasant situations and things or so Mekkar thought. Right off the bat Mekkar threw the football up in the air and as its flight downward back to earth was commencing Attu caught the football out of the air and at the same time bit all of the helium out of the football. While still in his mouth the dog would run around the yard in sort of a daring manner challenging Mekkar to not only catch him but also take the football from his mouth. Sometimes, since Attu was so large and agile for his size he would run over Mekkar in a playful manner, not in a vicious way. The dog still dared Mekkar to remove the football from his mouth. It was actually pretty difficult for Mekkar to catch Attu and he was big enough that Mekkar couldn’t even put his arms around the dog when giving him a hug.

That was one example of their relationship that they would enjoy for many years while Mekkar and Attu grew up together. That continued until Attu’s legs could not support his weight anymore and the pain became too great for the dog. Attu lived for 24 years, way beyond his expected lifespan and then was sadly put to sleep. Attu was always protective of Mekkar, especially when he was younger, against other unknown dogs, wolves, and other non-family critters. One time, Mekkar tried to outfit Attu with warmers and such but since nothing fit, Mekkar quickly gave up those ideas regarding his boyhood buddy. Attu, due to his playful soul, was very popular with the kids around the neighborhood. All the children seemed to love him and the family did too! Attu was much more popular than Mekkar dog, Laka and Laka comes from a pretty playful dog breed himself. However, both Attu & Laka did dislike cats very much and would chase them and never would back down from them, not even larger animal from the cat family like lynxes, etc. At the same time, Attu and Laka got more spoiled the older they got, especially Attu.

Sometimes, Attu would catch birds and other small creatures and bring them to the dinner table, not to eat them, but as a gift. Attu would then give that look at the table like here’s my gift, now I want my steak and red wine because Mekkar’s god mama gave him that as treat at least three times per week as a normal ritual for most of Attu’s life, besides other treats. Attu was always trying to catch birds, and Mekkar would see this alot. At times, the dog would stand up on his hind legs next to the house. Since Mekkar’s god mama was a bird photographer and had bird feeders filled with seed and red colored liquid also. At first, the feeders were on the one edge of the outdoor house roof, but since that part was lower than the rest and Attu, when he stood up, could capture the birds there when they landed at the various food sources there resulted in some damage to that edge of the roof.

So, eventually Mekkar’s god mama had to set up the bird feeding stations much higher up on the roof. She would now have to go through the attic to get to them and take the close-up pictures of these creatures in feeding mode with her fancy camera. Mekkar thought it was pretty cool to see hummingbirds captured in full flight and hovering in slow motion suspension. His god mama took pictures at home and at different locations all over the world, once in awhile Attu would be in some of those photos. Even though it was her hobby she did make some money for those efforts.

Even with his main source of bird caught gifts removed, the number that Attu brought to the table during dinnertime never really decreased. Attu was found to be a very resourceful animal that, in Mekkar’s opinion, adapted and found other strategies to get what he wanted. It didn’t matter whether it was love, approval, or acceptance. However, Attu was never used around reindeer or on the trek and he didn’t mind because the dog didn’t have that desire to go on those journeys.

One time Mekkar’s papa made him a skateboard, well it was for Mekkar, the kid. Some of the materials used were metal wheels with steel ball bearings because composite wheels were not available to the public. At least not in this part of the world; and Mekkar’s papa modified used cross country skis. Fiberglass was added to make the skis wider than a regular ski, like snowboards today but not as wide. Since the ski board was longer than a normal skate board, there were additional sets of wheels added to the underside of the board at evenly spaced intervals. They were added so it would not bow in the middle and drag around the ground in the middle and possibly snap the board. The problem was that Mekkar rarely got to use the ski skateboard. Even though his papa made it specifically for him and was individually tailored to Mekkar’s weight, foot step patterns, etc. It seemed to him that kids that he knew were always coming over the borrow it. Mekkar lamented one time that even his younger brother got to use the ski skateboard way more than he did.