The Prince and the hog

2007 mungo1

Mug shot: Mongo the escapee.

By David Wesley Tonkin

A modern day fable (that actually happened!) of the colossal chasm
between the behaviors of good … and despicable people

The Prince

Friday, June 21, 2013. 03:20 PM (Eastern)

There I was working hard in my (home) office. I had to say that; my leader might read this blog!  There is a loud and frantic pounding on the front door.  I open the door after a breakneck dash down the stairs and there is dear friend and neighbor Mary Lou; absolutely distraught … crying, sobbing, shaking and almost choking. “Mongo has gone missing!” she was eventually able to mumble between her tears. Mongo is a loving, playful and sometimes slightly “goofy” / awkward pure-bred Weimaraner; he is his Mom’s favorite son … and a favorite nephew of mine.

I manage to calm Mary Lou and ask the how, when and where he went missing questions. Answer; the gate to the rear garden was left latched open … time estimate around 08:00 AM when she set out on an errand mission … and destination / location is the Million Dollar question!

Mary Lou is soon; as my Mom used to say, gathered together. We agree on the course of action. Firstly call our local constabulary then the local Animal Hospital; then we set out on an agreed search pattern.  Mary Lou takes the northern half of our development and the streets further north. I take the southern half of the development … Including “snob hill” where we always say that the nouveau riche or expense account aristocrats reside. I also get the golf course.

We search; driving slowly and asking all the joggers, walkers, cyclists and afternoon gardeners if they saw Mongo. The answer I keep getting is “no” … except when I stop to ask one of the Greens-keepers.. . Yes he did see a dog wandering back on the 8th Tee … which is the nearest to our homes. One problem however; he describes a huge, powerful golden brown creature … that is Smoke; Mongo’s brother, a magnificent Rhodesian Ridgeback. Dilemma … Mary Lou says Smoke was home and sleeping on his favorite well upholstered piece of poolside furniture?! So obviously it was a “mass” breakout; except that the Ridgeback had the smarts to return home before Mommy did!

After an hour or so of fruitless grid-searching we agree to meet back at home. As we stop our Mailman roars up the driveway in his official vehicle. In short order he recounts how he saw Mongo in the adjacent Shady Hollow development and that a super-kind family had agreed to keep him safe (and captive!) while he rushes back into our area to inform Mary Lou!  Poor fellow … he was thoroughly kissed, hugged, pummeled and his uniform shirt saturated in tears of joy.

We jumped in the SUV and went to collect the escapee. He was quite safe and enjoying a doggy treat as we were very cordially invited into the deliciously cool air-conditioned house. Mongo’s time on the run was obviously ending with aplomb. Mary Lou went through the hugging and kissing gratitude ceremony with every member of the household! We loaded him up and drove home … Mary Lou still shedding tears of joy … her boy was going home!

Off into the sunset rode our Mailman in his boxy little vehicle; forcefully refusing any reward … there goes a Prince of a man!

We intend to find the name of his supervisor and send in a richly deserved commendation worth its weight in over-the-top superlatives! It is the least we can do for someone with that abundance of kindness.

The hog

The next day (Saturday, June 22, 2013 …  11:55 AM. We had just attended the funeral of a friend’s father. One of the heroes of the “Greatest Generation”* … a Silver Star winner (the 3rd highest US award for valor) … pilot in the USAAF who saw duty both on D-day and the Battle of the Bulge.

The church is on a narrow, gigantic Elm and Oak shaded street in the historic town of Chestnut Hill. After the very dignified ceremony … with joyful tinges of light-hearted celebrations of the Gentleman’s life intermingled; we left to drive home.

I pulled cautiously and gingerly out of my curbside parking slot … checked that there was no oncoming traffic … as the road was now down to a single lane due to the mass of cars belonging to the service attendees..

In a flash a mail vehicle pulls out of a side street and boldly advances straight at me; he stops 10 feet away.  No problem … I indicate to him that there is a double parking slot just to his left.  I indicate via very obvious sign language that I will pull into it if he backs-up a couple of feet so as to make the turn a little less likely to end in a dose of paint-swapping with parked cars. He immediately pulls forward … totally sealing-off any possibility of evasive maneuver.  I think I can hear    Ennio  Morricone’s “Fistful of Dollars” theme music.  All I can really do now is precariously back-up the narrow lane for 80-odd feet to another parking slot I can back into.  The mailman (not capitalized for this fellow!) roars by, laughing uproariously.

No, I am not going to bother with a complaint letter to his supervisor. All I hope is that he becomes a friend of mine’s first customer … my friend is a taxidermist.

By-the-bye … Mongo is grounded for a very long time!

There ends my tale … we shall always remember the Prince!


*”The Greatest Generation” was a descriptive term originated  by the famous  journalist Tom Brokaw to describe the generation who grew up in the United States during the deprivation of the Great Depression, and then went on to fight so bravely in WWII.


1 thought on “The Prince and the hog

  1. Walt Lapinsky

    Another nice story.

    To commend your favorite post person, simply address a letter to Postmaster, . You don’t need to include the city or state. In your note, specify your 9-digit zip code and the date of the incident and your postmaster or postmistress will know who to commend. Ditto for the other one, just use the 5- and 9-digit ZIP code of the church.

    On the other hand, the right-of-way of a mail truck is federally protected. You don’t want to risk a federal “interfering with the mail” arrest, do you? The USPIS (United States Postal Inspection Service) has over 1,000 armed employees in its uniformed division.



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