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  • Once upon a time ago; a long upon a time ago. Quite a long time ago, on the scale of things...
    “Which scale?”
    “On the scale of Time the Ancient Titan; a moment ago. For a bright burning star, once-upon-a-less-than-an-instant-ago. Within the concerns of a four year old child waiting in a car, practically forever has since past.”
    “So, on which scale?”
    “On the scale of Things.”

    Now, as I was saying. Once, in an unspecified time now gone, there was a Curious Dog. It was curious, not in the sense that it had two heads or six legs or could speak French, but curious in the sense that it possessed Curiosity. Which I supposed made it curious in the former sense, too.

    It was curious about the sounds people made. It was curious about televisions and computers. It was especially curious about games of chess, and would often sit and watch, chewing out of frustration and fascination in equal measures upon its paws. Its owners were curious about the Curious Dogs curiosity, and so tolerated its sporadic conviction that chess would be better served up as a contact sport.

    But what the Curious Dog was MOST curious about, was anatomy. Specifically it was curious about the internal workings of Rattus rattus, and its cousin Rattus norvegicus. Curious Dog was lucky that it lived on a farm, and over the years its knowledge grew and grew and grew, until it possessed an understanding of Ratatomy that had reached profound new heights.
    Curious Dog always acknowledged its subjects, without whose noble, if unwilling sacrifice, its science could never have advanced. As a sign of its appreciation Curious Dog would bury its specimens in conveniently occurring and handily shaped tombs. Some of these tombs came equipped with high heels, but that didn't seem to put Curious Dog off. Not even a little.

    Now, you will hear it told that Curiosity Killed the Cat. And there was a time when it might have been the end of Curious Dog, too. There was a brief fascination with moving vehicles that precipitated an un-scheduled trip to the vet. For a week following the event Curious Dog was interred in a cumbersome and comfort-less plastic cone. All research into automotives was suspended indefinitely.

    Curious Dog died, in the end. Everything does, sooner or later. I have it on good authority that Curious Dog was curious upto the very end, that she rode along in the car, Curious about her destination, about the journey itself, about the things she could see and smell.
    I don’t wish to sound mawkish, but I imagine that Curious Dog licked the curiously white gloved hand of the vet.
    I imagine that she looked, enquiringly up at her owner as the pain of a needle was briefly felt beneath her skin.

    “So what killed Curious Dog?”
    “Oh, it was cancer, ultimately. It’s funny, but you don’t really think of pets dying of a disease that humans seem to have such a personal relationship with.”
    “So what‘s your point?”
    “My point exactly.”
    “No, I mean; ‘and the moral of the story is?’ ”
    “Got it in one”.
    “… I hate you so much some times.”
    “I know. I love you too.”
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