Ringo’s Big Adventure
The Next Loud Noise
by Dallas Doctor
Paris is not the same as Key West. Paris is much noisier. And busier. There are people and cars and trucks and busses everywhere. There are loud motorcycles that roar way-too-fast down narrow streets only inches from even-narrower sidewalks. And there are huge crowds of people all going somewhere important, but in all different directions and all at the same time. It’s wonderful. And it’s interesting. But it’s also a little bit scary.
The part Ringo isn’t used to yet is that he never can tell where the next loud noise is going to come from.
Ringo’s excellent at paying attention. He’s always listening, sniffing, and looking around. He’s always figuring things out. In Key West, it was easy; everything was predictable. Ringo always knew what was going on and what was likely to happen next.
But not in Paris.
Somebody might open one of those beautiful, giant wooden doors, without warning, just as you happen to be walking right in front of it. Yikes! People may step out of a restaurant or a hotel and suddenly materialize on the sidewalk, right where you were about to take your next step. What? A truck motor might start-up just inches from your face at exactly the wrong time. A church bell. A car horn. A bicyclist might whizz by from out-of-nowhere. A giant bus might pull right up to the curb, just inches from your nose. You never know what’s going to happen in Paris. There are multiple surprises on every block.
For Ringo, the best places are down by the river Seine early in the morning when no one is around, or afternoons and evenings in the park, where there are many things to do and smell and see, and where there are far, far fewer sudden surprises. But here’s the problem: Getting to those pleasant places requires the navigation of a number of city blocks. There’s just no way around it.
Ringo’s friend Doc is learning how to choose the quietest (and calmest) routes to Ringo’s favorite spots. Doc doesn’t always guess right and there are still usually a couple of little-scares each day, but at least Doc has figured out how to avoid the busiest-avenues and worst-corners that are the loudest and most crowded.
Once in the park though, it’s so worth it. Ringo likes his time in the park. Sometimes he meets a new dog-friend nose to nose. That’s always fun. Sometimes people come over and sit down on the bench next to Doc and Ringo for a little conversation. Ringo finds that interesting. He’s getting better at letting nice people reach out and touch his head. Doc is so proud of him.
[BTW: Ringo still can’t figure out why strangers want to touch his head, but he is learning that they do. If only they will let Ringo sniff their hand first (just to make sure it’s OK), then if everything’s fine, and if Doc is relaxed, and if the stranger is calm, only then, will Ringo let them make fleeting contact with the fur on the top of his head, but only for a moment. Ringo thinks we should all just smell each other and then move along …]
The good news is that Ringo doesn’t have to jump-out-of-his-skin quite as often as he did during his first week in the big city. He’s getting better every day and he’s pretty sure he’s going to able to figure this all out. At least he has Doc looking out for him. … And that’s all that really matters.
Please share this story in any way you consider appropriate. This is part of a collection of very simple short stories called: “Ringo’s Big Adventure” which is NOT to be confused with a similarly titled, but entirely different set of more complex stories with the working title “Travels with Ringo” which are ONLY available to the awesome humans who are making these adventures possible. Please visit: patreon.com/dockity/overview to learn more. Thank You! Sincerely, dockity.