Watching My Steps

No Trespooping!

It was a beautiful breezy evening, perfect for a walk. I had recently bought a new pair of running shoes. With a broad smile on my face and a spring in my steps, I was singing my way to the park. “La la la la…la la la..ta da..ta da ta da..SQUISH!!!!!

My happy mood just vanished at the very moment I looked down. Much to my dismay, I realized that I had stepped on a fresh dog poop! The mess sticking beneath my new shoes pulled me and my spirits down. A dog and its owner passed by. While the owner ignored me, the dog turned to gave me a glance that said, “Bad day, eh?” or so I comprehended. You see, I love dogs but I equally hate the owners who do not clean up after their pets. No matter how big is the ‘Clean Up After Your Dog’ sign, some people can’t read it. I wish the dogs could read. Anyways, on my way back from this poop-squishing-tour, I started recounting the number of times I have had similar experiences. Shall I call this a déjà vu?

That day was also a summer evening when the five-year-old me ran around a neighbor’s backyard, playing hide-n-seek with friends. I was trying to hide at my favorite spot before others did and that excitement blinded me momentarily and before I could realize, I fell flat on my face, on a fresh pile of cow dung !!! My face was hid well from my friends, at least for sometime. I am not getting into the details of the disgusting smell and how my mother cleaned me.

This is one of the earliest incidents that I can recollect regarding my encounters with animal poop. A flying pigeon dropping its shit on my head or a lizard doing its business at the top of the wall I was leaning against, I always found myself at the right spot and at the right time. Even while making sand castles, I could scoop out dog poop buried under the sand. My mother had a hard time keeping me clean and I was the first suspect in the family if a poop smell wafted through.

Thankfully, I have grown out of those years. And as an adult, I can always blame silly pet owners who do not carry waste bags with them. But my mother still feels that my feet miraculously find their way into shit. “Watch your steps,” she cautions me every time we take a walk together.