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Dogs, dead


"Where dost thou lead me? Every step I move, methinks I tread upon some mangled limb." Jaffeir to Belvidera in Venice preserved.

Driving along the roads of Jamaica on finds countless dead dogs and, very occasionally, a dead goat, lining the road. They remain there for weeks, eventually disintegrating completely. Call me perverse, but I started counting dead dogs on my way to various places. It depressed the children and I stopped. But in that short time I regularly counted more than ten on a two hour journey. I have heard, but cannot corroborate, that young men think it is fun to hit the dogs and will go out of their way to have a laugh, swerving unexpectedly to hit the dog against its head. That way they minimize the damage to their car. The dogs lie there, crushed awkwardly, their bellies swollen like balloons for a while, or their entrails, bright pink, yellow and dark red or brown, slung across the tarmac, their teeth snarling at eternity. They lay there, framing the road together with the narrow, continuous ribbon of litter on each side, marking distance. They remain smell-less to the car-bound. The stench must be unbearable to the other half who ignore them completely, it would appear from my car-window. The civilised have been reduced to inertia, muttering sympathetic tut tuts, but doing nothing. I did nothing. I just counted and tut tutted.



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