Ginger, King of the Mountain
Taught Me a Lesson

I was cleaning up the house, which is a rare time-out from teaching and writing. Nonetheless, it had to be done after a couple of weeks without my air conditioning working. Then I got the carpets cleaned, which meant me moving things all over the place. Since I was away from my computer, Ginger wanted to surf the Internet. This is the video that she watched while I was redding up the house.

The King beneath the mountains,
The King of carven stone,
The lord of silver fountains
Shall come into his own!

His crown shall be upholden,
His harp shall be restrung,
His halls shall echo golden
To songs of yore re-sung.

The woods shall wave on mountains
And grass beneath the sun;
His wealth shall flow in fountains
And the rivers golden run.

The streams shall run in gladness,
The lakes shall shine and burn,
All sorrow fail and sadness
At the Mountain-king's return!

Finally, after getting things quasi back to normal around my house, I went to my office. Ginger had just finished watching the video. So, I asked her if she wanted to go for a walk? Up she jumped and raced me to the kitchen where we keep her leash. We normally talk a great deal as we circumnavigate the lake. However, this time, Ginger seemed a lot more pensive and quieter. When we reached the place where they had dug the holes for the basements of new homes, she became more animated. Ginger started to run around the two holes in the ground where they had already put footers for the two homes. Then she ran up to the top of a large pile of excavated dirt. When she got up there, Ginger yelled, “I’m the king of the mountain.”

When Ginger finally wore herself out running up to top of the dirt pile and back down only to repeat it several times, she returned to me, and we talked. Ginger said, “I feel like I have gone from the king under the mountain to the king on top of the mountain.”

I couldn’t understand her excitement nor her rationale. I just asked for some explanation of her exhilaration.

“Well, I haven’t being feeling very well for several months. You took me down to Purdue University Veterinary Teaching Hospital. After all sorts of test, they concluded that I had irritable bowel syndrome. They talked with Dr. Sabedra up here at the Hobart Animal Clinic. She gave you a prescription for those capsules that you have given me for a month and a half.”

I agreed with Ginger. I had put peanut butter around the capsule as a means of enticing her to take her medicine. I did that every morning for six weeks. Then we returned to see Dr. Sabedra, and she said to give Ginger a capsule every other day. Hopefully, we can wane Ginger off of the medicine soon.

“The medicine has allowed me to get back to feeling my normal, hyperactive self. I can’t taste the medicine, but I love peanut butter. Dr. Sabedra wants to see me again in a month, but I’m feeling a lot better already. That is why I went to the top of the mountain and declared, “I’m the king of the mountain.’”

I told Ginger that I was happy for her and off we went to continue our walk around our lake. As we walked, I thought about the lesson that Ginger taught me. It reminded me of what Confucius said, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Ginger’s journey to recovery was a long and taxing one for both of us. Nonetheless, it required effort. Effort will be rewarded at the end of the journey.