My sister was a strange one when she was little. She had these puppy dogs and she was always mean to them, pulling their tails, leaving them cowering up on high shelves, all that kind of thing. I told her to cut it out but she said they looked cute when they were sad. ‘The sorrowful little whines they make are just so moving’, she argued.
After being mean to the tiny dogs she’d be nice to them for a bit, giving them little treats and so on. She’d soon go back to being mean though. She was only being nice to the puppies to remind them that there was hope. A hopeful little puppy dog that has been badly let down is a cute little puppy dog, . . .apparently. On cold days she’d lock the creatures outside and watch them scratch at the French windows to be let in. ‘Awwww’ she’d say as she observed the confusion and hurt in their eyes.
I once asked her if she had given the dogs names. She said she had a collective name for all of them. She called them Africa.