Thursday, April 21, 2011

Me and Peeter Ernits

A few words bout an hypaethral dog whom I saw in cold winter 1998 coming out from a millboard box, after his staying there overnight.
Indeed, it was winter in 1998, I was reporter of newspaper Õhtuleht and should interview Peeter Ernits, director of the The Estonian Museum of Natural History (afterwards he became my boss in Maaleht). It was a cold January morning, I walked along the remotest path of Lasnamäe to reach my workplace and carry this interview out. I reached to the windy corner of Lasnamäe and saw there a dog with his tall thin legs, might having lived there a couple of nights. It was hardly to imagine an animal living in such cardboard box, when the air temperature at night was ten below zero. He came out from his stone-cold canopy and glanced me deeply with his disconsolate animal eyes, wholly trembling. Then I thought that on that evening he had exhausted his possibilities to find a host in some flat corridor in Lasnamäe, he might have sought it everywhere. I thought he could attain maybe more success next night. Truly, my first thought was to rescue him from this winter abyss, but I could do nothing. Firstly, I was about to coming late to my workplace and secondly, I had no single chance to bring him home – there was my little bit untolerant mom and we had already our puppy mongrel. My interviewee Peeter Ernits is a zoologist. He told me on that day that the dogs are not very prepare to survive in severe frost, in that case they are rather weak. That´s why I turned back to that place on the same evening but this dog was not there anymore. I have seen in my later years more painful scenes with dogs, my own included, but this scene has deeply entered my memory as a situation never-seen-before-and-after, so I could weep if I only were capable of it. I can also recite Tammsaare´s „Our Fox“ here:
„Years were lost, many years were lost. Ats grew up and became an adult man. He saw some exciting foxes in his life, but none of them was like his own fox, Mossa. And it seemed to him that underneath the flow of the years his fox turned into more and more wondrous.
As stuffed animal he decayed and the family got rid of him, but living Mossa never blotted out from his memory. Even in his elder years, Ats reminded of him as „our fox“ and talked about him to those, who had never seen him with their own eye.“