Once upon a time there was a woman who had three dogs. One of them was elderly. The other not so much. The third was a fidgety puppy, always running around.
They all belonged to the same breed. Don’t ask me which, because I’m very ignorant about makes of dogs and breeds of cars – pardon! – breeds of dogs and makes of cars.
The old dog, laying on the door-mat, looking at the youngest one as he ran after a spider, a butterfly, or his own shadow, commented to the second dog:
“I used to be like that.”
“I don’t believe you,” barked the puppy, who kept running. “You’ve never played.”
“I did, believe me. And sometimes I still feel like playing. If only I didn’t feel so heavy, I would still be able to catch you.”
“I can’t believe you,” insisted the puppy, with a smile on his very white teeth.
“But you should,” advised the second dog. “We, the elderly, were once as light-footed as you are now.”
“I don’t believe you,” persisted the puppy, as he kept running.
“How can we make him believe that we were once his age and he will one day be ours?” the second dog asked the oldest dog.
“It’s not going to be easy,” concluded the elder dog always on his mat.
The woman, the owner of the three dogs, who had listened to, or at least had guessed, all the conversation, held the puppy on her lap and showed him:
“This is the picture of old Spot when he only fed on milk. The picture is blurred, because he was a lively devil. He never stopped to rest.”
“I don’t believe you,” protested the puppy, on his owner’s lap.
Some pages ahead, the woman pointed at another little dog of big shinning eyes and pricked ears:
“This is Bobby, who arrived in a small basket. He was such a cheery fellow!”
“I don’t believe you,” raged the puppy, on his owner’s lap.
And, tired of so many old stories, the puppy leapt from his owner’s hands and started running.
He didn’t believe her. He didn’t believe that those two big serious dogs, very solemnly sat on their hint legs, had once been like him. It wasn’t true. It was impossible. It was nonsense. He just didn’t believe it.
But, some time later, he finally did…