I woke up and I was a dog. I was riding along my horse last night, but this morning, I went to bathe in the local pond and my reflection was clearly a dog. And not just any kind of dog, a Maltese. Great. I see my horse tied up to the porch post and wonder how to untie her (her name is Beau) and how I’m going to get all these here cattle to California in five month. Why a Maltese? At least if I was a Great Dane I might have a shot.  

My clothes of course don’t fit. They’re still laying beside the lake since I planned to change into them after I woke up and bathed. I guess I’ll just have to take this one step at a time. I mean, I am a cowboy and us cowboys deal with weird stuff all the time like haboobs, stampedes, gun fights at dawn, but metamorphosing, now that just ain’t right, God. It just ain’t right. So, I just reckon I’ll have to take this nightmare one bad thing at a time. Now, y’all know all dogs can swim. So, I jump in the pond and, though I can’t use soap, do me best to clean meself, but I can’t dress. My boots with the motivators on the heels won’t fit. Jeans are too big. Nothing fits. So, I go to gather some hay for me horse. I find hay in the local farm, but can’t pick it up so I have to drag it on the ground with my teeth to Beau. Beau looks puzzled in her eyes but after 5 minutes, decides to eat the hay. I still can’t untie her though so she can go to the pond to get water. 

Then, I look at the cattle. Cattle for California and we’re only in Montana. If they go on a stampede, me a Beau are outta luck. I know some dogs are herding breed dogs but I sure don’t remember if Maltese was one of them. But for right now, they’re just standing there like cattle do, eating grass and being calm.

Then, since I thankfully left the door open, I go inside my cabin for some breakfast. There’s an ice box but then I realize I’m too short to open the ice box. What do Malteses eat anyway? I mean they are carnivores so they eat chicken, fish, and then a very important thought comes into my head.

I stand behind one of the bulls. Bulls don’t provide milk and can’t have no young’ins so, after they make a few cows pregnant, I generally sell’em for meat. That’s how I make money. So, I go behind one of the cows, silently crawl, and then I leap and bite the hind leg of the cow. I can’t even penetrate the skin with my teeth. The cow looks back, confused, then kicks her leg back and I go flying. I land on my back which then stings.  

I sigh and then look in the lake. Maybe there are fish I can eat. So, I jump back in the lake, and look in the water. There are fish and I try to swim after one. I hold my breath and swim, but it’s too fast. Now I’m even more hungry. I try chasing squirrels, rabbits, and deer, but it’s no use. My legs are too small. Then, I see a cowgirl appear near the top of a hill and begin to wonder if there’s any way I can make her understand that I’m not a dog but a cowboy. She slowly rides her horse down the hill.  

   She sees me and does what people do with dogs: pets me, kisses the top of my head, talks in baby talk, but I need her to understand I’m not a dog or at least to get my horse to the water. Then the line I was expecting:  

  “Where’s your master, little doggie?”

  I sigh. I am the master. How can I make you understand? I’m a human stuck in a dog’s body. Damnit. I’m the master now please take my horse to the water

   She looks around confused and says, “What kind’a idiot would leave their cows with just a dog? Idiot.”

   I’m not a dog. My name is Joe and they’re my cows. I’m a cowboy I’m . ..

  “Maybe this moron’s inside the house, washin’ up.”

   Then, she went in the cabin I was lodgin’ at and saw no one was there. She checked all five rooms.

   She then started to draw a bath. At first I got excited, then I took my black nose and looked between my legs.  I discover I’d been neutered.  Damn it!  So, she undresses and I feel nothing.  She’s pretty, but even if I wasn’t neutered, I’d still be a dog and she’d still be human. Damn it!  

    Then, she’s in the shower and I hear it. Hooves.  Lots and lots of hooves. Stampede. I run out to the front door: It’s closed.  I try to jump to the knob but it’s useless.  I go back to the shower, but she’s too busy singing and doing whatever, so she doesn’t hear. it. Damn it!  

   Then, I see a window. Thank God it’s open. So, I jump out. I try to chase them, but I got shorter legs than them. I’m running with all my might and I’m almost killed. Bull missed me by an inch.  I got to think. Think.  

   I bark, loud, try to circle them, but it’s useless.  They’re too fast. 

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5 likes 2 comments

16:13 Jan 23, 2020

It's an interesting concept. The beginning reminds me of Franz Kafka's Metamorphosis with the way the first sentence is the new body and we don't know what happened to cause it. There are a few places where I think there should be a comma or have the sentence split into two sentences, but overall it is a good story.

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00:20 Jan 19, 2020

Nice read. Seems the ending is abrupt, but that is where imagination comes in to see where it goes from there.

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