23. května 2008 12:00 Lidovky.cz > Zprávy > Redakce

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A Dog’s Tale
A short story by D. W. Randl

Bobby Bobbins always wanted to be a dog. He didn’t know much about dogs. He only knew that they like to run and do fun stuff like carry sticks. Other days they would just lie around, sleep and have beautiful dreams about bones and chasing cats.

Bobby didn’t have a dog. No one he could play with. Not even a brother or a sister. His father, the local drunkard said he was allergic both to dogs and children (of course, neither was true). His mother was very fond of him, he was her only child, and didn’t allow him to go anywhere without her supervision. That’s why he wanted to be a dog. He was lonely.

He didn’t even know much about dogs. He saw them only when he was on the way to the grocery store with his mother. In the night the dogs he saw appeared in his dreams. Dreams. They were beautiful. Both, the dogs and the dreams.

One day, Bobby had to start going to school. Every day, Bobby’s mother walked Bobby there and back. That was very humiliating and all the kids from school laughed at him.

It was at the end of September, when his mother got very sick. It was impossible for her to lead Bobby to school. When he found out, he suddenly was very happy. Even his father noticed. Why was he so happy? He just thought of a plan!

The next morning, Bobby went to school, as usual. But he never got there. He ran away. From his drunkard father, from his caring mother, from the kids that laughed at him at school. Suddenly he felt freedom. A feeling, that he never felt before.

He went to the park and watched the dogs. They were so happy.

The day changed into night, all went black. He laid himself on a bench and slowly went to sleep. He didn’t miss his mother, or his father. He wanted to be as independent as possible.

It was in the morning that Bobby was awoken by a strange itch, just below his rib. He tried to scratch it. But instead of scratching it with his hand, he scratched it with his leg! Could it be? Did his biggest dreams come true? Yes, he was a dog... a real one. A brown - black Alsatian.

He tried to say something, but instead, he woofed. Maybe, if you would translate it into English, it would mean: “What?”

A dog came out of a bush. He was a small mongrel. Why did he come out? Perhaps to answer Bobby’s question. “Yes, it’s finally true.” said the mongrel.

Bobby knew the mongrel. He had seen him a couple of times when he was out with his mother.

What is?” Bobby was confused. How could the mongrel know?

You are finally one of us.”

After the mongrel said that, a couple of other dogs came out of the same bush as the mongrel did before. “You planned this?” Bobby asked.

As a matter of fact… we did. We could not bear seeing you so lonely. So we asked Dogod – our lord – to make you one of us. You know, to make you happier.”

Bobby was very happy. He finally had friends – he didn’t know them much, but the fact that they wanted to help him and make him happy, made the dogs his friends.

As the day went, Bobby went through a lot of adventures. At first, they did some butt - sniffing in the park. Bobby didn’t like that much, because he wasn’t used to this kind of entertainment.

When that ended, the pack went to check out the new fountain, which was built, as the dogs said, just a week ago “Woof, thanks guys, this is so much fun, woof!” Bobby was very excited. He liked the water a lot “Woof, bark, woof you are more than welcome, woof”.

After a lot of splashing, barking, jumping in the fountain, one of the dogs said: “Woof, I am hungry. Maybe we should get something to eat” This was a problem, because this particular pack of dogs usually ate whatever they would find in the park, or even worse in the street.

Bobby didn’t know what the food the dogs ate looked like or how it tasted, but he could imagine. He asked one of the dogs, just to be sure. The answer sounded disgusting: “Actually, the food isn’t that great. If we lived with any family the food would be much better. Usually, it is full of little sick things, sometimes even glass.” That was a huge problem, since that was dangerous and wasn’t edible.

The dogs went to search for some food. They decided to check out the butcher’s trash cans.

Old meat, not good for people but suitable for dogs was lying all over the place. Old turkeys, chickens and maybe a hen or two. Suddenly the pack heard footsteps. The butcher, who was poor, was said that he ate cats and dogs. Bobby suddenly realized that that was the reason why the butcher danced like a lunatic, when it was raining.

Bobby didn´t realise that the butcher was coming. He was eating. Suddenly, he felt hands. They were the butchers hands. He was lifted and then carried inside.

The butcher was wearing a white apron. He was clutching a long butcher’s knife in his right hand, a piece of cloth in the other. Bobby was preparing himself for the worst thing that could happen. He was waiting for his death…

Then, Bobby heard somebody knocking on the door. The butcher went and opened. It was the dogs! The mongrel barked orders as the dogs were biting the butcher. Bobby was happy to join them.

When the butcher ran away, the dogs fed themselves with fresh meat which was all around the shop. Everybody was happy. The dogs were happy, because they got a decent meal after a long time. And Bobby? He was happy that the dogs were faithful to him and that they were his real friends.

After this very fun and little dangerous day, the dogs said “Woof-bye” as they all went to their own bush. Even Bobby, who was finally a dog, got his own bush. It was very comfortable inside, almost entirely tick-proof.

As Bobby went to sleep, he wondered how to help his dog friends with their food problems. He also thought about his parents. Did they miss him? Surely. They must have. Well, his mother definitely, his dad wouldn’t know – he spent most of his time, drinking in a pub, ran by an Irish immigrant.

Woofity-woof and a double bark to you Bobby” this was how the dogs greeted themselves every morning. “Woofity-woof, to you to…”Bobby thought about his mom more and more. It was exactly two days, since he last saw her. He missed her.

After a few days, Bobby started to miss his mother very much. He also had a plan on helping his dog friends. The same night, when he went into his bush, he prayed to Dogod: “Please make me human again.”

The next day Bobby was human. He ran all the way home. His parents, however weren’t there. He didn’t care. He went straight to the refrigerator and took some meat out of it. Then he went straight to the park, to see his dog friends.

The pack of dogs he joined, as a dog, a week ago was searching for him. When they saw him (coming with the meat), they started to howl with joy. They were hungry! As Bobby fed the dogs, the Alsatian came up to him. He stared at Bobby, as he fed his mates. Then the Alsatian said, in dog language: “Thanks Bobby! You are a real friend!” Bobby understood him.

When Bobby finished feeding the dogs, he ran home. His mother was there. She wasn’t at all mad. But she was happy to see him. “Is dad still at the pub, mom?” These were Bobby’s first words.

No.” his mother said, happy. “I just took him to the priest. He will try to help him to get rid off his addiction.”

Why aren’t you mad, mom?” Bobby was confused.

When you ran away you taught me a lesson. It is good to be careful, but I was too careful. And that was bad. From now on you can do anything you want to do alone! But I will always be happy to assist you, whatever you do!”

From that day, Bobby’s life changed. Everyday, when he went to school he had a chat with his dog friends. The kids at school weren’t mean anymore. They knew how Bobby ran away. He was their hero now. When he went back home, he shared his snack with the small pack.

Bobby was finally happy. His dream came true – he had friends and nobody was mean to him ever again!