Gypsy, the black Pitt Bull, was a smart dog, but she had one big problem. Although she watched the cars go by her yard at varying speeds and she had watched them since she was a pup, she could not judge how fast a vehicle was going until it passed the yard.
One day, Sage, a sandy colored Pitt, came to visit. They sat in Gypsy’s yard, which was surrounded by a two-foot, wooden fence, and watched the cars go by.
“Did you see that commercial on television this morning?” asked Gypsy.
“Ridiculous squirrel!” exclaimed Sage. “Taking chances with his life by running in front of a car to cross the road.”
Gypsy glanced at her best friend. “Foolish to the max. He shouldn’t have crossed when the car was that close.”
“He shouldn’t have crossed until no cars were in sight,” corrected Sage.
“True,” said Gypsy. “Have you ever crossed this road?”
“I never had a reason for trying,” said Sage. “But I wouldn’t dare cross if I saw a car coming.”
Several days went by and once again Gypsy was sitting in her yard watching the traffic. She was thinking about that squirrel on television and wondering if she could be that fast. She was bigger and heavier, of course.
She stared down the road. Three cars went by and then an 18-wheeler appeared in the distance. The 18-wheeler was a large vehicle and the ones she had noticed lately could not travel up the slight hill very fast. She just bet she would have time to cross the road before he got to her.
She squeezed under the wooden fence. At the edge of the road she looked again. The vehicle didn’t look that much closer. Yes, she decided, she would have time. Her heart thumped, thumped as she sprinted across the road. Just as her backend got off the pavement on the other side, the 18-wheeler passed.
Whew, she thought, closer than it looked, but she had made it. Her heart pounded. She decided to wait until the road was clear before going back across to her yard. Gypsy reached her yard just as Sage arrived.
“I saw you as I rounded the house,” cried Sage. “You’re going to get yourself killed.”
“Nah, it was easy,” said Gypsy. “Watch, I’ll do it again.”
Gypsy watched the road and when a vehicle passed and another appeared in the distance, she sprinted across the road. She didn’t quite make it.
Later, in the hospital, Sage sniffed and wiped her nose.
“Oh, Gypsy, I thought I’d lost my best friend. Does it hurt much?”
Gypsy found it hard to speak. She swallowed the lump in her throat. “Yes, it hurts. I learned one thing though.”
“What did you learn?” asked Sage.
“Never underestimate a vehicle’s speed.”
“I would say, never take chances unless it’s a matter of life or death,” Sage said.
“I could also say that it’s extremely foolish to act recklessly,” said Gypsy and closed her eyes to rest.