Have you ever noticed that sometimes similar events take place in cycles? This was brought home a few days ago by another attempt by the dogs – Sally in particular – again! Once more it was towards the end of the usual morning walk, when I spotted Sally absorbed in following the spoor of some creature. She dashed around and then disappeared into the wild patch next door, with Buster, Rocky and Bruiser following in eager anticipation. The next thing I knew was that a Barking Deer (Muntiacus muntjak) was in the garden with Sally virtually at its heels. I started to yell at her and run towards them when Sal got the deer by the rump, which made me pick up speed before the others got there and got into finishing off the poor frightened animal. And then I found myself hurtling through the air – having run obliviously into and over the rabbit proof, waist high, chicken-wire fence that protects the vege beds from the hare (Lepus nigricollis singhala). Using my hands to break the fall, I felt the impact with some amount of pain shooting through my right forearm and left wrist, but sprang up to continue the chase. Perhaps my yelling, combined with the thud of the fall, distracted Sally, as the deer managed to get away and bounded towards the fence bordering the fields at the bottom edge of the garden and disappeared from view, Sally and the others still in pursuit.

I stood there, not quite aware of what exactly happened and wondering about the damage, if any, to my arm and wrist. So I went through the motions of flexing the affected joints to check if anything was broken or dislocated and was glad to realize that the joints appeared to be intact, although the soreness was starting to increase gradually. The dogs returned after a while, Sally with deer blood around her mouth, and I sent one of the boys down to see if they had got the deer. Thankfully the folk working the fields reported that they had seen it disappear into another wild patch further down and it did appear that it had got away.

I had a busy morning ahead as there was work-related stuff to do at Monaragala that involved others who had made the trip from Colombo, so it couldn’t be postponed. Anyway, I strapped my right arm, which looked like having a bad elbow sprain and set off. The meetings went off successfully, but the pain was ever increasing until it got so bad I wondered if I had really suffered more than just a sprain. Getting through the work as quickly as I could, it was back to Flowerbook to try to cope with the hassle of being handicapped with no ‘near and dear’ to help out – all concerned being back in the city. At this time, the arm was definitely dysfunctional, with a bruised and swollen elbow, so that I couldn’t even get a doob to my lips with it – in spite of Java’s encouragement. Brushing teeth with the left hand was far more complicated than I thought it would be, and showering, soaping and drying myself was also tricky and fraught with elements of shooting pains. Typing shit was also rather a strain (hence the shortage of posts!), though possible, and sleeping had to be dependent on the position, with as little movement as possible. In short – it is a horrendous drag!

Now, just three days, many ice-packs and some amount of flexing later, I can almost get the doob to my lips and the pain is a lot lighter – I can even type for a reasonable amount of time, so it does look like the healing process is well underway and hopefully it will be back to ‘normal’ in a few more days.

The problem is trying to get Sally to curb her natural instincts and be cool with the animals, which does pose the problem of sussing out the strength of genetic programming versus the results of effective environmental conditioning.

But I’m working on it.