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Sunday, July 17, 2005

Paper Tigers

Dogs that bark won’t bite, they say. Still I always feel a pang of anxiety rushing through me when I am passing a house, and a dog suddenly barks from behind a fence. Like today, when I went for a ride with my bike to find solace from the turmoil of the world. I went on one of my favourite tours, along the Fils River, and then up the Nassach Valley - "the valley of the happy ones”, as a sign declares at its entry. Still the dogs bark there, not happy at all about those who disturb their peace.

Today, this barking also brought back the memory of a dream I had some days ago:

It's morning. I am just back from town, with a newspaper, and sit down in the living room. I open the pages - and out come living things: A puppy with white hair. A black dog with red eyes. A thing with many arms. They were put there from the newspaper people as a gimmick. “Deflate after 24 hours;” a sticker on the front page says. Yet I hadn’t expected them to be so real. So huge.

I touch the puppy, it feels warm. I try to chase the black dog away, but it growls and stares at me, while the thing with many arms looks for a hiding place.

It was just a dream, I told myself, as I cycled on, along a brook, through a forest; a dream about paper tigers coming alive. But then, that in a way is what the media does, I thought later: tossing all those scary images in our living rooms, leaving us there with them, replacing them after 24 hours.

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