Meena Forgives Buddha

Daddy's drawing of the incident.


She didn't forgive Buddha the saint-ascetic, but Buddha, the pit bull who bit her in the face two weeks ago.

There's something Buddha-like in the act of a small child forgiving a dog who hurt her.

Meena and I were standing in front of the refrigerator in the middle of a lengthy three-year-old dialogue wrestling with her emotions about the event.

"The dog says, I'm sorry, I'm sorry," Meena said in a different voice and using an animated face.

"I'm sure he's sorry," I reply.

"I won't do it again," Meena said in a now-distinct dog voice.

"He might do it again, Meena. You have to ask adults to help you before you go near animals."

"He didn't bite this cheek," she said while she pushed her little finger into the cheek that is unmarred. As she gazed at the floor, she slowly felt around all parts of the uninjured cheek. I can't say what she was thinking, but perhaps something to do with the normal skin of one cheek in comparison to the other cheek that has caused her so much pain and fear of pain. What goes on in a child's mind as they learn about the passage of time, change, and suffering?

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