Why are we staying in? I ask the Owner. I want to go to the Coffee Shop.
I may have a Bug, says the Owner. I do not want to Give it to Others.
It seems to me, I say, that if you have a Bug then giving it to others is the best thing to do with it.
Giving the Bug to others does not mean I would no Longer have it, says the Owner. So for now I need to avoid close contact with those in the Coffee Shop, who might be more Poorly than I.
So Walking the Moral Dog in the Park is okay? I ask.
As long as I do not contact Others, says the Owner. The Moral Dog must understand that whilst giving it to others who will Recover Easily is Not a Bad thing, one has to moderate this in order to avoid also giving it to Others who May Not.
So who gave you this Bug? I ask the Owner.
Another Person, says the Owner.
Why did you not All Hide under the Bed to avoid it? I ask.
That would not be Very Practical, says the Owner. Imagine how the world would be if the Prime Minister and the President of the United States hid under the bed.
We imagine it briefly.
Well, I say, actually…
That was a Bad Example, says the Owner. But if we all hid under the Bed then Nothing Useful would Get Done. The Truth is that some things cannot be hidden from. It was always inevitable that I would acquire the Bug eventually.
Where did this Bug come from? I ask.
Well, says the Owner, before it was in Persons it was in Bats.
That is Bizarre, I say. Why would a Bat wish to do such a thing? Was it an Amoral Bat? Has someone Taken it to Task?
It did not do it deliberately, says the Owner. The Virus Jumped out of the Bat, seeking a Wider Experience of the World in the Process of its Evolution.
It is a shame that Person did not hide under the bed, I say.
One cannot be Under the Bed all the Time, says the Owner. We are All Evolving all the Time. The Ancestral Dog, the Ancestral Human and the Ancestral Bat are all evolving alongside the Ancestral Virus. One never knows when a Virus will make the Jump to Persons or, indeed, Dogs.
Will I get Batflu? I ask. Should I hide under the Bed? I say.
This is Very Unlikely, says the Owner. It took the Ancestral Virus hundreds of thousands of years to work out how to Jump from the Bat to the Person. It is likely to take it just as long again to work out how to jump from a Person to a Dog.
That is Good news, I say. But I will be Avoiding Bats for the next Hundred Thousand Years, just in case. This Evolution seems to be Something of a Risky Business.
Evolution is, in a sense, a giant gamble, says the Owner, but it has paid off for the Moral Dog and his Owner so far. Ultimately enough of us will be Immune to the Batflu that it goes away, so we will be stronger and the Danger will Pass.
And in the meantime, I say, is there Any Risk to those who are not immune from Playing with the Moral Dog, Running with the Moral Dog, Feeding the Moral Dog Cheese and taking the Moral Dog on Batfree Explorations of the Park?
None at all, says the Owner.
That is good to know, I say. And by the way, how are you feeling? I ask.
Thank you for asking, says the Owner, with a Hint of Sarcasm. I put it down to the fact that she Has a Virus.
Don’t mention it, I say.
Hergest the Hound
I am a dog of many thoughts.