Once upon a time, there were two houses facing one another across a narrow canal. Each house contained it’s own family. Each family had their own idea of how life should be lived on this little canal. Sadly, the two ways of life were disparate in many ways.
The West side family disliked the wildlife that came to visit, leaving nuggets on the sweet grass. The East side family loved the wildlife, and would encourage them to visit by offering tender pieces of bread. The Wests shook their heads in disgust as the Easts lined the grandchildren up on the bank, bags of bread at their sides. They shouted across the canal, imploring the East side family to close the animal buffet. The Easts smiled and kept throwing crumbs upon the ground.
“Cease and desist!” The Wests shook their fists and cursed into the sky. “You feed these geese and they come right into our yard to rid themselves of the waste!”
“But our grandchildren love it!” The Easts explained. “This is why we chose to live here…it is a natural setting and so peaceful!”
Peaceful, that is, except for the waves of animosity washing across the canal.
“We’re going to complain about you to the city government!” The West side family shouted.
“There are no ordinances about feeding the geese,” the Easts stated.
“Honk, honk,” agreed the geese, who had just gorged themselves and were prone to siding with the hands that had fed them.
And so on it went, day after day. The Wests did call the city, who said that it was not something that they could mediate. The Easts, in deference to the Wests, only fed the geese when the grandchildren were visiting, but that still displeased their angry neighbors.
So the Wests came up with a diabolical plan. They had just the thing to teach those evil Easts a lesson. They planned. They plotted. They prepared. Finally the day came for their revenge.
When the sun rose that morning, the Easts were greeted with a lovely mural, painted prominently on the side of the Wests’ house that faced their own. It was garish, to be sure. It was embellished with cartoon characters. But it was art, nonetheless.
And the Easts were shamed. Very, very shamed. They had brought this terrible curse upon themselves, you see. Never again would they be able to look out across the canal without having to view this hideous art project.
The impact of this warfare was profound. Neighbors gawked and laughed at the brightly colored house. Word spread. Soon, folks were driving by just to catch a glimpse. But did it stop the Easts from spreading their vile bread crumbs? No, it did not.
The moral of the story? You can freak out at the neighbors all you want, but in the end, you still have poop in your yard, and your home has become an eyesore. Isn’t the joke on you? Scoop a little poop and count yourself lucky that the neighbors are feeding and caring for living beings, and not boiling your cat. Look at the bright side, and don’t sweat the small stuff.
(True story, btw, picture posted as proof. My kids used to call it the Mental Institution, because surely crazy people must live there!)