It seems that I spend a lot of my time waiting.
Waiting can be very difficult. Sometimes I get very impatient. Sometimes it’s hard to get anyone to understand what it is that I want. I find that some people can “hear” me better than others. Some of the little kids at school try to do things for me whether I want it or not. They bring me things that I don’t know what to do with. Like cars and trucks. Or dolls. Or their shoes. Or they try to wrap me up when they think I’m cold. Or they feed me stuff. I like when they do that! But the Mom Person doesn’t so much. I usually just sigh and wait for them to decide to take me for a walk or read me a book or feed me something without the Mom Person seeing.
We have a funny little book on our bookshelves about waiting.
This is a New York Review Book published in 2012. The book was originally published in 1968!
It begins – “He was there from the day we moved in. He was there sitting in the garden.” “He” is a rather large sheepdog. The family can’t figure out why he’s there. The narrator, a boy of maybe 9 or 10, thinks the dog is waiting for something. The little brother, 4 yr old Ogdon, is determined to find what the dog is waiting for. He jumps up and down and turns somersaults. The Mother thinks he’s waiting for something to eat and brings him an assortment of food choices. The dog eats, but continues to wait. He waits in the rain, refusing to come in. When it gets cold, they cover him up.
Ogdon continues to bring the dog things – string, a stray cat, crayons and a calendar. One day he just sat and talked to the dog. After some time, the narrator boy decides that the dog is waiting for a NAME! He decides he must think of the perfect name and starts making a list.
Now I’ve previously pondered over names and what they mean. What makes for a perfect name? That is the big question. Ogdon thinks he knows the perfect name and whispers it in the dog’s ear. But the dog gets up and walks away! Ogdon had called the dog Marilyn! The big brother runs after the dog and pleads with him to give them another chance. Please, be a good friend and be patient! So the dog stays. And he’s still sitting and waiting.
An odd ending. A not very satisfying ending. A strange, quirky tale. Names. They can be uplifting or they can create a nightmare. I’m hoping they will find the right name for the poor dog before too long. A hard situation for everyone.
In spite of the lack of a real ending, I like this book. It is a very humorous tale, with the dog a permanent fixture in the yard and Odgon trying so hard to get a reaction from him. I like Mr Gorey’s illustrations. I like Ogdon’s enthusiasm. He reminds me of the kids at school. I like the big brother’s persistence. And I guess in the end, the reader is left to come up with a personally satisfying name for the dog that will tie everything up nicely.
If you happen to be in Maine, you might like to visit Mr Gorey’s house! Check the website HERE.
Ms Dina at The World According to Dina recently had a lovely post about Waiting as well. You might want to check it out HERE.
And here is a look at a dog waiting for something — maybe dinner, maybe a treat, maybe the perfect name —
May your waits be short and sweet!