It’s 4:45 am and I’ve run out of rocks. I started out with exactly 28 of them, my first batch being 13 decently-sized chunks and the second being 15 lesser rocks and greater dirt crumbs that weren’t so ideal for throwing but they would have to do anyway. The distance was (and still is) 110 feet, a frustrating and infuriating 110 feet when there are 11 dogs communally howling behind your house at 4:45 am and you have no way of making them be quiet.

I did hit one. One. One dog got a glorified pebble in the flank and slunk away from the pack as my victory cry rose to the dawn sky. Two dogs learned from their comrade’s mistake (don’t stand within 90 feet of that crazy lady’s house, she has rocks…) and left along with him.

A few more dogs took offense at the bad vibes I directed towards them and trotted away towards the soccer field. Three other dogs got wet when I slung a water-bag (like a water balloon, but much more serious) at them and scored a hit at their feet. They backed away and disappeared into the creek behind our house. That’s when I ran out of ammunition. Two dogs remained- the Statue Dog, which sat unmoving in our back yard even under the occasional barrage of my badly-aimed projectiles, and the Mother of all Evils, a small white dog with three loud puppies who prides herself on being the metronome of the wild dog world. When she barks, it’s to a steady 3-3 time.

Bark two three

Bark two three

Bark two three

Bark two three

Though the dogs are over 100 feet away, their shrill cacophony carries far in the clear morning and reverberates in the cement basement where my bedroom is. By the time the sounds get to my sleeping ear they are a series of metallic scratching noises, or bursts of dog-themed noise often in a chorus of five or more. I would like to go back to bed, but the Mother of All Evils and the Statue Dog are still there, sitting and howling on the unfinished boundary wall that marks the end of our backyard. I’m out of rocks and they’re just out of my range for flying bags of water.

I figured something out this morning as I stood outside the backdoor in my pajamas throwing rocks in all the wrong directions, and it has nothing to do with patience. It has to do with aim. And choosing the right rocks. And finding Aniraz’s slingshot.


Abez is a 50% white, 50% Pakistani, and 100% Muslim. She is also chronically ill and terminally awesome. She is the ever-lovin Momma of: - Khalid, a special little boy with autism - Iman, a special little girl with especially big hair -Musfira, an especially devious baby Spoiler, Abez is also Zeba Khan on

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