Two Plastic Bottles

Jorge Milanes Despaigne

So why is my picture here? Read on, you'll find out.

What astonishment I felt when I got home to find two plastic water bottles, one sitting on each side of the entrance!  I wondered, what reason could there be for those bottles, which for the first time I had seen between the two columns out front.

I went inside concerned with finding out if my mother knew who was behind this unusual practice, but just then the telephone rang.  Since I had a long conversation with a friend, I forgot about the matter of the bottles.

The following day, when I was ready to head off to school, I saw those two bottles at the door again.  I was in a hurry so I didn’t have time to go back in and ask, so I continued on.

Later, when I came back home, I found a man yelling at his son:

“Don’t touch that, it’s brujeria (Afro-Cuban witchcraft),” as he gave the child a quick spank.”

I really felt bad. I still didn’t know what the bottles were for.

The whole afternoon I was impatient. Like a sentry waiting dawn, I waited for my mother or sister to finally give me the answer I deserved.  Then someone knocked at the door:

“I’m coming,” I replied.

I was surprised to find my friend and his wife.  I hadn’t seen them for four years, since they both live in Spain.  We greet each other effusively and I invited them in.  We talked for a good while, though I was still concerned about the situation at the door.

We were talking about everything past and present, how things are for them over there and such.  But every so often the images of the bottles came to my mind, triggering a veritable storm in my head:

“You weren’t surprised to see the bottles at the entry?” I asked my friends.

“No, we know why they’re there,” they responded.

I was left silent.  Luckly for me she continued, saying:

“Jorgito, people also put them out in my city.  They keep dogs from peeing on front of the door!”


3 thoughts on “Two Plastic Bottles

  • For the attention of Casey Strong.
    Well Casey, one theory is that dogs have a better memory than we credit them for and being creatures of habit don’t always appreciate change (they become wary), so at the sight of seeing something irregular makes them suspicious i.e that someone is in the vicinity and as a result give the area a wide berth.
    If the bottles were a very regular feature, the dog would see it as the norm and pee away quite happily.
    As I said, it’s one theory.

    Kind regards,


  • I still do not understand how the 2 plastic water bottles stop dogs from peeing on your door. Can somone fill me in ?

  • !Great story, Jorge–which reminds me of another story! Some years back I was visiting a friend out in the campo and, as we walked through the woods near the edge of his property, I noticed piles of rocks spaced evenly every fifty feet or so. After he had purchased the property, my friend was likewise puzzled by these piles, so he contacted either an anthropologist or an archeologist from the nearby University of Massachusetts. After the expert came out and assessed the site, he told my friend that the piles of stones were from pre-Columbian times, and that, many centuries ago the Indians had piled them up in such a configuration that they aligned with either the sun, or the moon, and thus had some sort of religious significance. Several more years passed, and my friend happened to meet an old farmer, who in turn told him the following story: When he (the old man) was a youth, back in the early 1920’s, he helped the farmer who then owned the property pile up these same stones. They had been clearing this field of excess stones before plowing, and he had carried them to the locations in questions!

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