On my table sat an unopened slinky box. It was sitting in my closet since Christmas. I was intending on giving it as a gift to my niece, but my car decided to stop working over the holidays and it never got to her, subsequently, residing in my closet for 3 months.
Today, I decided to clean out my closet and get rid of some junk. I lifted up an old bag of clothes I had intended to give to The Goodwill a few weeks ago and spotted the little box underneath.
“Well, I guess this is mine now since I won’t be giving it for Christmas anymore,” I said to myself as I tore the cardboard flap off of the glue.
Once I got it out. I played. First trying to see if it would tumble off my table and onto the chair, it didn’t work. The metal mass toppled off the table edge to bounce off the chair and plunk on the floor.
Even though my attempt at playing failed I did get the attention of someone else. Andy’s bright blue eyes were peering up at me to investigate the new object I had in my hand. It is his thing to make sure anything ‘new’ in the apartment is surveyed by him at some point. So, I let one side of it glide to the floor and spring right back up to graze my fingers and return to the ground again. Transfixed by the physics of this new object, Andy, laid on his back so his paws would be free to bat at it once it met the floor again.
We engaged in this play for a couple minutes, Andy, clawing at the slinky, and I, pondering if the universe was like a slinky. I wondered if at some point, time, would pause at the end of a long stretch, and then return to it source, forever repeating itself.
At the height of our play we were interrupted by the front door swinging open and several feet trotting in. Daniel and Sophie, my boyfriend and dog respectfully, had returned from an evening walk.
At fist, like Andy, Sophie was curious about the new object, now on the floor. [I was startled by their return and had dropped it by accident.] Sophie pushed past Andy to smell the metal coil. She sat back, cocked her head to one side, as if in deep thought, and pondered the existence of the toy. Unaware of the fear I would cause, I picked up the slinky and released it. Stiff as a board, Sophie stared hard at the strange object as it fell towards the floor. As it lifted back towards my fingers, still staring at the slinky she jumped backwards, her ears pinned back and her blue eyes grew into miniature moons.
To separate herself from the yo-yoing coil, she darted for Daniel’s lap, “She’s shaking!” He proclaimed with a giggle intwined with his words as his hands grasped her shoulders. I stepped toward her thinking that if she examined it further, then maybe she would realize that it was harmless.
That move was a failure. She jumped, slipped on the floor, rounded the corner and dove into my bed in an attempt to escape. I now knew that this dog was legitimately terrified of slinkies.
It could be due to the fact that dogs have poor spacial reasoning skills, so, an object that appears small and then stretches 7 times its size is incomprehensible to her. Or, she could just be a dog that is afraid of a classic children’s toy. But, I do know for sure, that it was one of the funniest things that I had ever seen.
This may make me a bad person, but I can’t lie, seeing my dog flee from a slinky was priceless.