Big Dog, Little Dog

Once upon a time, there were two dogs who lived together in one house. One of the dogs was big, and he had a self-assertiveness to match his size. The other dog was little and nervous.

Every time the big dog saw the little dog, he would run over and step on his head.

“Haw, what you gonna do about it? Whatcha gonna do about it, little dog?” the big dog would say.

“Please stop,” the little dog would whimper into the floor. “Quit it. Why do you always do this?”

“Because,” explained the big dog. “I’m a big dog and you’re a little dog, and so I can step on your head and you can’t do anything about it. Haw!”

“But you don’t have to do it just because you can,” said the little dog.

“How you like that, little dog? How you like having your head stepped on?”

The little dog tried to reason with the big dog. Then, he tried to avoid the big dog. Then, he tried to distract the big dog. Then, he tried to endear himself to the big dog. Then, he tried to see things from the big dog’s point of view. Then, he tried to fight back against the big dog. Then, he simply waited for the big dog to grow up, mature, develop some other interests.

But nothing worked. Every time he ran into the big dog, the big dog’s dull eyes would light up, the big dog would make a beeline for him, and before he even had time to say a word, the little dog would be kissing the carpet.

Now, at this point in the story, you’re probably waiting for the little dog to get some kind of revenge or outsmart the big dog somehow, or for the big dog to have some realization and become a more complex and sympathetic dog, or for the big dog to develop respect for the little dog because of some particular incident, and for their relationship to improve.

You’re expecting this because that’s how stories usually develop.

But I think you’re all old enough for me to tell you a truth: it’s not how life usually develops.

Try to be a big dog, if you can. And if you can’t, try to set your life up in such a way that you never have to interact with big dogs at all.

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