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"Pfeffernusse, I brought some people to meet you." Grief said as the group approached an outrageously fat and unrealistically happy clown.
"Based on what the prince, Maltese, has told me, I'm guessing that the clown with the spider on his shoulder is the dark sorcerer clown, G." Pfeffernusse said speculatively.
"Yes. That is correct. We also have with us, the Elder Tisthmus and the young man with him is Wombee, who has asked about what he would need to do should he decide to become a clown. I thought I'd bring him to you, since G and I both came to our clownhood magically." Grief carefully explained.
"You're not willing to give advice on a subject of which you have no knowledge? If this gets out, people might start getting the idea that clowns are responsible... dare I say it? Trustworthy." Pfeffernusse finished with a visible shudder at the suggestion.
"Wombee and the Elder sponsoring him are the only ones to have witnessed it. I trust them not to spoil our reputation." Grief assured him.
"Elder, you're sponsoring a clown in the outside world?" Pfeffernusse asked cautiously.
"Yes. At least, that is my intention." Elder Tisthmus said soberly.
"Not many in authority see the value in whimsey and other such emotional expressions. You provide not only a service for this young man, helping him discover his potential, but also to your society by providing a safe avenue for your people to vent their feelings in a socially acceptable and healthy way." Pfeffernusse said seriously.
"As a new friend recently suggested to me, moderation can provide benefits to both individuals and societies." Elder Tisthmus said frankly.
"So true. So true. In that spirit, I can do no less than provide your young companion every advantage that I can possibly give him. We actually have a booth where young ones can try dressing up as clowns. They also have products for sale which should provide for the majority of your needs." Pfeffernusse said seriously.
"Are these things that you're providing magical in origin?" Elder Tisthmus asked cautiously.
"No. Everything for sale in the shop is completely mundane. Provided that it is purchased, there is no magical element at all." Pfeffernusse assured him.
"Provided that it's purchased?" Elder Tisthmus cautiously asked as a prompt for more information.
"The carnival, itself, can be rather harsh when it comes to shoplifting." Grief quietly provided.
"Let's just say, we don't have a problem with repeat offenders." Pfeffernusse added in the carnival's defense.
"We'll be sure to pay for our purchases." Elder Tisthmus assured him.
"The best people do." Pfeffernusse responded with a grin.
* * * * *
"Zah Zah, come up here so we can go." Lucky said as he held his hands out in invitation.
After a long hesitant moment, Zah Zah finally took the leap and ended up cradled in Lucky's arms.
Lex looked down at Zephyr, then pointed to his shoulder. The Kelpie Nuggle took slow motion flight and was soon functioning as Lex's copilot.
"How are you doing? Do you and Mah Zah need to go back to the Meayithan realm for a while?" Paul asked curiously.
Ginh Zah growled a quick response.
"Does she need to go?" D asked with concern.
"No. She says that this realm doesn't have the same levels of nature magic that we have in ours. They should be fine for a couple days." Paul said seriously.
"I suppose that I can see that. In fact, we're the ones who are going to need to watch out for prolonged exposure to this realm." D said uncomfortably.
"But I thought staying on the train at night would take care of that."
"Yes. We can return to Frakish Vallum and it will negate any ill effects. The problem is that gauging the passage of time here can be a bit tricky. The realm is in perpetual twilight so it's very easy to fall into the habit of telling yourself that you'll leave as soon as it gets dark... except that it never does. For as long as you're being bombarded by exciting sights and sounds, you won't recognize your own tiredness or the passage of time."
"Is it some kind of misdirection spell, like the Brynnhollow barrier?"
"No. I've actually had an opportunity to look at some of the behind-the-scenes spells of this place and there's nothing like that. It really is a case of your mind playing tricks on you. They must have created this place to take advantage of those mind tricks that you normally inflict on yourself."
"That's the next level, isn't it?"
"After learning the crazy complex spells that can change the world, the next trick is learning when not to use magic and be aware of the ways that the world changes itself. That way you can achieve your goals without having to expend any magic of your own. Anyone following behind you trying to trip you up would drive themselves crazy trying to figure out what awesome meta-magic you're using to control things on such a massive scale." Paul said speculatively.
"You make standing back and doing nothing sound almost diabolical." D said with a grin.
"Going back to the mundane way of doing things, it ends up being like sleight of hand, allowing others to make the assumptions that work in your favor."
"Four." D said as he took some money out of his pouch and handed it to the Ferris wheel operator.
Paul had been so engrossed in their conversation that he hadn't noticed that they had arrived at their destination.
"Can I ride with you, Uncle D?" Lucky asked hopefully.
"These carriages are big enough that all four of us should be able to ride in one, as long as no one changes into their centaur form." D said simply.
The group stepped forward together as they waited for their carriage to arrive.
* * * * *
"What should I buy?" Wombee asked as he looked at the variety of grease paints and exaggerated body parts.
"Nothing just yet." Pfeffernusse said seriously, then explained, "You can look at the variety of options available, then go back to the booth and try things on if you like. Once that's all done, you can come back here and buy the things that work best for you."
"I appreciate that you're encouraging Wombee to make an informed decision, rather than just trying to take his money." Elder Tisthmus said sincerely.
"I'm sure that's why Grief brought you to me. I do my best to help clowns, both old and new, discover the path that's best for them." Pfeffernusse said seriously.
"I was hoping that you might also have some words of wisdom for G, since my sister has been her usual self and not told him anything about his clown heritage."
"I'm sure that Whisper was acting true to her nature. If you expected her to do otherwise, is that her fault?" Pfeffernusse asked curiously.
"I thought after marrying D that she'd pass on what she's learned in her life to her kid... y'know, like moms do." Grief said reasonably.
"Marriage or no, child or no, Whisper is still herself. Expecting her to be something else isn't something she did to you, it's you setting yourself up for disappointment."
Grief looked at his nephew and quietly asked, "Is your mom doing alright?"
"From what I've been told, she's living in a hell dimension right now. You can ask Paul about it if you want to know more than that. He told me that much and I haven't asked for more details... I'm still processing."
"I had a feeling that it wasn't good news from the way D said that we'd talk about it later." Grief said honestly.
"Mom went nuts at Dad's wedding and ended up being sent to hell... that's really the whole story as far as I know. If you want to know anything about how stuff was before she left us, you need to talk to Dad. It's been years since then and I was a lot younger. I didn't understand all of what I was seeing anyway." G said frankly.
"Do you see anything that you like here, Wombee?" Pfeffernusse gently asked.
"Each one of you has his own different way of being a clown. I don't know what kind I want to be." Wombee said anxiously.
"Right now, just look at the choices and choose what appeals to you." Pfeffernusse quietly explained.
"That's right. Once you've chosen some things that you like, then you can refine your choices, eliminate some and exaggerate others until you've developed a persona that will be fun to share with everyone around you." Grief said warmly.
"That sounds so nice. Elder Tisthmus said something about me visiting with kids in the hospital and at school. What can I do that will be the most fun for them?" Wombee asked hopefully.
"Keep it simple." Grief immediately answered, then explained, "Kids aren't stupid, but they don't have long attention spans either. Come up with something so that they'll get the joke just by looking at you. Then, once you have their attention, they can join you in laughing about it."
"Also try to keep in mind that none of us are of your people. Something that may work for one of us, might not work as well with your people and in your realm." Pfeffernusse added.
"I've traveled to several different realms, and I can tell you from experience that it's true. What one group considers hilariously funny, is looked upon with horror and disgust by another." Grief said seriously.
"What we're trying to tell you is to tailor your comedic style to your audience. If your audience is younger, then try to talk to them about things that they can relate to." Pfeffernusse calmly explained.
"Somehow I thought a conversation with a group of clowns would be a bit more fanciful." Elder Tisthmus said honestly.
"We're letting you see what's beneath the grease paint. I hope you're not too disappointed." Pfeffernusse said seriously.
"No. Not at all. I appreciate the fact that you take your craft so seriously and are willing to go out of your way to give advice to someone interested in joining your ranks." Elder Tisthmus said sincerely.
"Actually, this is part of what we do. I mean, we entertain, of course. In the good times that provides us the necessities of life, plus a little bit to hold in reserve for the lean times. But along with that, we also recruit to maintain or increase our number." Grief carefully explained.
"And since we're not a race or species unto ourselves, the only way we can increase our number is by recruitment." Pfeffernusse added supportively.
"Except for G. He was born with it." Grief quickly added.
"He's the exception that proves the rule." Pfeffernusse said dismissively.
"Since I didn't make a choice, I don't know if I'm as much of a clown as everyone else." G quietly admitted.
"From the way it looks to me, you make a choice every day." Grief said simply.
"Yeah, but I don't know if that's better or worse. I hide who I am most of the time, like I'm ashamed of it." G said in an agonized tone.
"All I know is that when your father pointed you out to me, he was undoubtedly proud of his son, the clown." Elder Tisthmus said sincerely.
"Yeah. He's never been ashamed of it. He always looked at that part of me like it was something wonderful." G said with the beginning of a smile.
"I think that's part of what made my sister fall in love with him. He loved Whisper just as much as he loved Emaline." Grief said sadly, with his mournful makeup becoming even more pronounced.
"So, my mom's Clown name was Whisper?" G asked to confirm.
"It still is. Whether she chooses to show her clown-self or not, she will always be Whisper to everyone here and it will always be part of her." Pfeffernusse stated simply.
"What's this for?" Wombee quietly asked as he picked up a tube from the display table.
"That's a cream that can be used to remove hair. I don't think you'll be needing that." Pfeffernusse said seriously, then guided Wombee to another table as he continued, "I think this might be more in line with your needs."
"You think I should dress like a jester?" Wombee asked uncertainly.
"I think you should dress in whatever manner you think will be entertaining, but if the jester outfit is the one that caught your eye first, I think you should give it a little extra consideration." Pfeffernusse calmly suggested.
"I always loved hearing stories about court jesters because they were some of the bravest people in the land. When no one else dared speak truth to power, the jester could talk to kings and lords about all kinds of serious things, seeding new ideas and passing them off as jokes." Wombee said admiringly.
"You teach your children some interesting things, Elder." Pfeffernusse said respectfully.
"We encourage our children to discuss the motives that drove historic figures to take the actions that they did. That might cause them to sympathize with certain of those a little more than we'd sometimes like." Elder Tisthmus quietly offered.
"I think that teaching your children to question people's motivations and think for themselves will pay dividends for your society far into the future." Pfeffernusse said confidently.
"Wombee, why don't you go ahead and choose a costume so that we can take you to the makeup table?" G asked encouragingly.
"Do you think I should get this one that caught my eye first?" Wombee asked uncertainly.
"You can if you like. Just keep in mind that if it doesn't work out for some reason, we can come back here as many times as you want until you've found the perfect outfit to express yourself. There's no need to rush." Pfeffernusse assured him.
Wombee glanced at Elder Tisthmus with question. Receiving a slight nod in response, he hurried to gather the outfit, with all its component pieces, including a tiny jester's head on a wand that happened to look quite a bit like him.
"Where can I try these on?" Wombee asked as he clutched his selections to his chest.
"Right through there." Pfeffernusse answered as he pointed at a flap in the back of the tent.
"Is this what you do when the carnival comes to town?" G asked curiously.
"We do many things, satisfying many different wants and needs in several different ways." Pfeffernusse explained.
"And each realm we visit has different things to offer. Part of the adventure is discovering what riches, material or otherwise, there are to be had." Grief elaborated.
"After all this, I'm still not sure whether you're villains or heroes." Elder Tisthmus said frankly.
"What if we're both? What if we're neither? Would it make a difference in how you see us?" Pfeffernusse asked curiously.
"I suppose that that's the reality of it, isn't it? I would have to redefine what it means to be a hero or a villain to include you in either of those categories, but at the same time, it wouldn't be right to exclude you from either of them, knowing what I know now."
"Some see us as a release valve to lessen the pressure on the societies that we visit. Others believe that we cull the most disruptive and extreme elements of a population, allowing those who remain more time to mature as a group. Of course there are others who simply see us as thieves and charlatans, bilking the poor out of their hard-earned money." Pfeffernusse said informatively.
"Don't forget about those heroes and villains." Grief quickly added, then explained, "There are people with black and white thinking who can't help but categorize us as one or the other. They could never even contemplate anything else."
"Yes. Regardless of which extreme they choose to believe, those who paint with such a broad brush tend to be the most easily manipulated. They know what they expect and as long as we give them that, or the illusion of that, the world makes perfect sense to them. They'll fight to defend their preconceived notions and won't bother to interrogate our motives." Pfeffernusse quietly explained.
"Wouldn't that give you an unfair advantage over people?" Elder Tisthmus asked cautiously.
"An advantage, certainly, but I don't know about unfair. We make the most out of the opportunities that we are given, like anyone else. If we happen to be provided some low-hanging fruit, then so be it. A clown's got to live." Pfeffernusse finished with a smile.
"You won't be teaching Wombee how to harvest such fruit, I trust." Elder Tisthmus slowly prompted.
"Is it better for him to proceed blindly and potentially make catastrophic mistakes? Or do you think it would be better if he learned some basic rules to guide him to the most beneficial behavior?" Pfeffernusse asked seriously.
"We're not giving him a weapon, we're giving him a tool. It's going to be up to him to put it to use. Some basic instruction on our part might help him start out in a productive direction." Grief added.
"This is much more than him playing dress up for a weekend." Elder Tisthmus observed.
"Possibly. There's still a chance that this is nothing more than a passing fancy on his part. It happens. All we can do is treat each expression of interest as though it is serious and provide the best advice and resources that we can to encourage their development." Pfeffernusse carefully explained.
"I'm not sure I'm wearing this right." Wombee slowly said as he awkwardly stepped to Elder Tisthmus' side.
"It's the boots, those curled up toes always make it feel like they're the wrong size. You'll get used to it." Pfeffernusse said simply.
"Is the hat backward?" Grief asked uncertainly.
"No. That's right. Look at the doll head, it's wearing it the same way." Pfeffernusse said seriously.
"Oh, yeah. It's funny. Between the clown magic and my illusionary ability, I've never had to worry about what to wear... in my clown form, anyway. My clown clothes just look the way I want them to. Because of that, I've never had to try wearing something that I might not like." G said as he looked at Wombee consideringly.
"We have a whole tent of selections for you to choose from, if you'd like to try something new and different." Grief said in a coaxing tone.
"No. That's okay. I'd just never realized that before." G quietly responded.
"What do you think, Wombee? Do you like the Jester's outfit or would you like to try something else?" Pfeffernusse asked curiously.
"I really like it. Except the shoes... they're really distracting. I don't think I want to get them." Wombee said honestly.
"Try these." Grief said as he picked up a pair of shoes from beside him, then explained, "They'll still match your outfit, but they're comically long as opposed to being ridiculously curly. They should provide the same reaction from an onlooker while being more comfortable for you."
Pfeffernusse considered for a moment, then nodded his agreement to Grief's suggestion.
As Wombee took the new shoes, Grief quietly asked, "Do you have anything to help G. He can make anything he can imagine, but I'm concerned that his imagination may limit him in reaching his true potential."
"High magic and clownistry tend not to mix well. I think that if he's able to allow his inherent clownship to manifest its expression through his sorcery, that he should be able to stand alongside intermediate clowns as their contemporary." Pfeffernusse said consideringly.
"That doesn't seem fair. Other clowns have to work their whole lives to reach the level I was born with?" G asked uncomfortably.
"There are times when life isn't fair. But in this case I believe that things evened out because as easy as it is for you to reach the intermediate level, the master level will be all but unattainable for you. Sorcery and clownistry will only work in unison up to a point. Past that divergence, you will likely have to choose which discipline you will attempt to master."
"That's better." Wombee said as he stood, wearing the new shoes.
"Those look good. A nice match for the style." Pfeffernusse said with a nod of approval.
"Do you want to try any more costumes before we move on to the makeup table?" Grief cautiously asked.
"No. I already like this one better than any of the others." Wombee said with certainty.
"Good enough. This way." Pfeffernusse said as he led the group away from the tables of clown clothing.
Wombee hurried to his side, excited to see what was going to happen next.
* * * * *
"Would you rather sit beside Dad?" Lex asked cautiously.
"No. I'm good. Go ahead." Paul said easily as he scooted into the last seat in the row, making sure that Ginh Zah was comfortably nested on his shoulder.
She had, in fact, curled her tail around his neck to aid in her balance which had the added benefit of providing a luxurious resting place where she could inelegantly sprawl while keeping watch on everything around her.
"I don't know why it seems so important to me. I remember a whole lifetime of having Dad all to myself. I don't know why all of a sudden it's such a big deal." Lex said honestly.
"Maybe with all the magic and stuff, you just need to know that it's for real." Paul cautiously suggested.
"I guess so. Waking up and suddenly being someone else, but still myself... I don't know if there is a right way of dealing with it." Lex said honestly as he scooted in beside Paul, then made sure that Zephyr was comfortable and not feeling cramped.
"It looks to me like you're doing just fine. You've been able to keep hold of all the best things from before without upstaging G or trying to take over his life." Paul said frankly.
"Did you think I was going to?" Lex asked curiously.
D sat beside Lex and put an arm around him, not so much as a show of affection as a lack of a better place to put it. Being that he was in his Huell form, his arm didn't interfere with Zephyr's copilot position on Lex's shoulder at all.
Mr. Sticks automatically hopped up on D's lap and quickly took his place. He sat forward attentively, seeming to be excited about their upcoming ride.
Once D and Mr. Sticks were settled in, Paul responded to Lex's question, saying, "No, I didn't think you'd try to take over his life. But looking at the situation you're in, I can see how that could happen, even if you didn't mean for it to."
"Yeah. I guess so. But I know how he thinks and what he feels. I guess I just automatically steer away from the things that I know that he's passionate about and leave them to him." Lex said seriously as Lucky took the final open seat.
D automatically moved his arm to wrap around Lucky at his side. Zah Zah had been placed in Lucky's lap, and seemed to be perfectly content to curl up and sleep there.
"Like me?" Paul asked Lex playfully.
"That was never going to happen anyway." Lex said with a grin as a bar on the carriage locked into place across all their laps.
"What about at school? With G being at the head of the class in Sorcery, what are the chances that you two will end up competing for the top position?"
"That shouldn't be a problem. G can have it, he's earned it. Once we have Lucky all sorted out, I'm thinking about going into Wizardry full time."
"Where you can be with Corabeth?" Paul asked curiously as the carriage moved forward one position, so the carriage behind them could be loaded.
"Well, yeah. But that's not the reason. I think G has followed a path that worked best for him, given his control and power level. I think I might do well taking those same talents in a less obvious direction." Lex said frankly.
"You might also investigate if there's any specialty training that you can receive as an elemental. It seems to have changed Dex's life to be able to use his earth affinity to its fullest advantage." D said from Lex's other side.
"I'm not sure if acknowledging that will open doors for me or close them. It might be better to just leave it be and let everyone think that I'm just a regular witch." Lex stated frankly.
"Denying who and what you are doesn't protect you, it entraps you. Be yourself and if you find a closed door, be ready to pound on it. The rest of us will be right behind you, ready to back you up when you need us." Paul said firmly.
"Has someone been bothering you about your demon heritage?" D asked with concern.
"No. But that doesn't stop me from being on guard for it. It's so new and such a big deal for me that I can't seem to really believe that it's not just as big a deal for everyone else." Paul said frankly.
"I think I'll try to follow your example and not let my magical origin become the most important thing about me. I won't hide from it, but I won't lead with it either." Lex said seriously.
"Hang on. I think it's about to start." Lucky called out excitedly.
Paul couldn't help but smile at the younger boy's enthusiasm.
* * * * *
Wombee walked up to the table and joined half a dozen people already there, applying makeup to themselves with varying results.
Before five minutes had passed, everyone in the booth was lined up watching Wombee and cheering him on, calling out their suggestions, encouraging him to be the best clown that he could possibly be.
"You're being too subtle. You're not putting on makeup for the person in front of you, you're putting it on for the person across the room. If he gets it, everyone between you and him will get it too." Pfeffernusse said seriously.
"I don't know what to do with my mouth. Should I have a big kissy face or a smile or maybe even a frowny face." Wombee said uncertainly.
"Not a frown. If you go down that road, you become more and more committed to it." Grief said seriously.
"If I were going to guess, I'd say that the rest of your outfit would be thought of as silly. You might want to go with something to match that sentiment." G said speculatively.
"I know! I know! Let me try something." Another of the attendees at the makeup booth said excitedly.
Wombee turned to allow him easy access and held still while he applied copious amounts of makeup.
"That's really good." Grief said honestly.
"Yeah. I don't think I could do it, but it looks good on him." G said frankly.
"Yes. A very realistic depiction of joyousness." Pfeffernusse said critically.
"What was your name again?" The boy who had done the makeup asked curiously.
"Wombee. What's yours?" Wombee asked happily as he looked at himself in a mirror.
"Dayv. If you'll let me, I can do the same makeup on your doll."
"Would you? That'd be great!" Wombee said as he handed the doll head on a stick to Dayv.
"Do you have a name for it yet?" Dayv asked as he worked.
"No. I just got it a few minutes ago." Wombee said honestly.
"I imagine that this little guy is going to help you a lot to make whatever point you're trying to make. He'll always be taking the opposite position from you, so you can explain to him... and to your audience, why you're right." Dayv said as he carefully applied the makeup.
"You're not from the carnival, are you?" Wombee asked cautiously.
"No. I'm from Castor. Why?"
"Because, maybe you could help me with makeup and things when I go out to do my clown stuff... I mean, if you wanted." Wombee tentatively asked.
"I have things to do for school, but outside of that, I think I'd like to help you." Dayv said happily, then handed the doll head back to Wombee.
"That looks great. What do you want to name him?" Wombee asked as he examined Dayv's handiwork.
"A counterpoint to your name, I think. Something like 'Roff'." Dayv said speculatively.
"Wombee and Roff. That has a nice sound to it. You have good instincts for this, Dayv." Pfeffernusse said sagely.
"I think we're done with the makeup. What do we do next?" Wombee asked excitedly.
"Why don't we get everyone around the table painted up and ready to go, then we can go to the clown tent and show off what you've been able to accomplish.
"Can I help you, Dayv?" Wombee asked hopefully.
"I wasn't planning on dressing up, I was just going to watch."
"Come on. It'll be fun." Wombee encouraged.
"I will, if you'll do my makeup for me."
"That sounds fair. Let's do it.
* * * * *
The group were all smiles as the Ferris wheel began to turn, raising the carriage high into the twilight of the autumn sky.
Paul was looking around in the meager light, trying to see outside the carnival to get a sense of the size of the town they were in and possibly of the desert beyond.
As they reached the apex of their ascent, Paul was able to see far into the distance and could suddenly appreciate the significance of what an oasis actually was.
Just as soon as they began their descent, Paul felt an exaggerated sense of being off balance and of falling. It was almost as if his stomach had suddenly dropped out of his body.
He let out a little scream as he gripped tightly onto the bar across all their laps.
He felt Ginh Zah reconfirm her grip on him with her tail around his neck as her claws dug in, just slightly, to assure them both that she wouldn't be swept away.
Even though Lex felt the same sensations as Paul when they started their descent, he also had the added feeling of freezing where Zephyr was standing on his shoulder. The merging of water and air formed a secure ice junction to ensure that come what may, the two of them would invariably remain together.
Mr. Sticks had been holding onto the bar since it had been snapped into place, suggesting that he had already known what was to come. Of course, not having a face, Mr. Sticks didn't have an expression, as such. However, anyone watching would swear that he was happily excited, joyously afraid or any number of other emotions that he was incapable of expressing in the traditional ways.
A slow husky laugh drew everyone's attention.
It took a moment for D to determine where the sound was coming from.
Much to his surprise, Lucky was nearly convulsed with laughter, but rather than the little boy giggle that they would have expected, the group cautiously listened to Lucky's lower and significantly more psychotic laugh.
Zah Zah flashed D a dirty look with her too-human eyes, conveying the sentiment that what she had just endured was undoubtedly his fault.
"Are we going to do it again?" Lucky was finally able to ask past his sinister laughter.
"Yes. Probably quite a few times." D slowly stated, then thought to ask, "Would you like that?"
"Yeah. Let's do it again!" Lucky said happily, sounding more like his usual self.
Zah Zah gave D one last look, then nosed her way into Lucky's coat where she promptly returned to the magical essence from whence she came.
"Was that some kind of magic or what?" Paul was finally able to ask.
D wasn't sure if Paul was referring to Zah Zah's reaction, Lucky's laughter, or the physical effects of the Ferris wheel. Regardless, he honestly answered, "I really don't know."
To Be Continued...
With each new chapter, we seem to learn more interesting details of the Marvelous Magical World that thrives in this story.
Everyone seems to be learning new things, along with finding new ways to improve their own lives as well as helping others to improve theirs.
To my way of thinking, that would be a very good way to look at life in our own world.
I think that too often we just think of our own problems and pretty much ignore the issues that others are having, therefore we don't always bother trying to help someone who may very much need any help we might be able to offer them.
Oh, by the way, just who is this rude dog?
Darryl The Radio Rancher