Eons ago, my Aunt Leah had a beloved dog named Lady. Leah was going away for Thanksgiving, so she arranged for Lady to stay with friends.
The friends, of course, made Thanksgiving dinner, and afterwards they piled leftovers into a bowl for Lady.
Which Lady ate and ate. And ate and ate. Then ate and ate and ate some more.
Leah’s friends got worried. They thought Lady would eat some and leave the rest for later. But she didn’t. She kept eating. They watched and thought, “When is this dog going to stop? She’s going to explode!”
They were really worried.
Finally, having polishing off every last bite, Lady lumbered off to a corner, and, with a groan, laid down and fell asleep.
When Leah returned to retrieve Lady, the friends told Leah what happened and how concerned they got. Leah understood immediately. “Lady’s a former stray,” she explained. “Her mindset is she never knows when the next meal is coming. So she eats all she can when she can.”
I try to remember Lady when I’m presented with a buffet or a second slice of pie, or I’m pondering the last few french fries in the basket. I mean, it’s so easy to think I should eat because—who knows when I’ll have another opportunity for pie?
But the truth is I’m a grown-up with resources and know-how and if I have a craving I could be eating pie—or pretty much anything else—within about 20 minutes.
In other words, while I’ll never condone sacrifice or deprivation, the story of Lady and her Thanksgiving overdose reminds me that I don’t have to eat something just because it’s there and I don’t know when I’ll have a chance to have it again.
I’m not a stray dog.
As fantastic as it may be, one slice of Pumpkin Pie with Gingered Whipped Cream will usually do.