By Andrew Paul Grell

Why Daddy still home? One day, another day, another day, now this day. Day, day, day, day only when the fat ones come to eat the big bird. Who will get the square-edge green leaves to trade for food?

Mommy still in bed when sun high to come through window. Daddy comes out of the locked cave, the cave with the good water. Puts his skin on. Puts his feet on. How can they walk with only two good legs? Food where it belongs, Daddy must still have green leaves. Grabs the bag, Park! We go to park again! I clean the dish, lap the water from the bowl. Once again, every day he does this, Daddy takes another bag of good-good stuff and pushes it down a hole in the wall near the car that goes up and down, car with no wheels, funny car, no windows.

Mommy sleeping, treat-giving Daddy walks me. I scout for a spot. Can’t pee on Missy’s fresh pee, Max will be mad. Can’t pee on Loki’s mark. Won’t pee on my own spot from last night. Find an empty spot and pee, wait for daddy treat. Sheep treat, yum. Daddy does the squirrel trick, waste a peanut throwing it at a bushy rat. Today Daddy doesn’t say NO, lets me go after the prey. I miss by the length of a tail. We keep going. I see the skinny black girl squirrel with the neck scars, Daddy’s favorite. Daddy throws the peanut behind Scar, I can’t reach. Peanut, peanut, again peanut, and I’m short only a paw pad but the squirrel is already through the fence and up a tree. 

Abe comes out of his door with the tall woman, yellow hair, today smell the blood. Does Daddy want to mate? Daddy only mate with Mommy. I can tell he wants to, but he doesn’t come close. None of the two-legs come close today. I check their sight lines, move without them seeing, grab a stick. Tall Yellow tells Daddy and I have to droppit droppit. I sniff Abe’s butt; Tall Yellow gives him good-good food, almost good as mine. We wrestle, I let the puppy win the round. We see woman big belly, big butt, stick on fire in her mouth, holding little picture box. Not afraid little fire. Smell man scent all over her, Daddy won’t mate the female. I see Big Hairy, my enemy. I bark and pull, pull and bark. Daddy and Big Hairy daddy talk, don’t come close. Hairy daddy lost face, no mouth no nose. Other people lost faces today. I could get that big dog down if I wanted to. No dog faster than me, longer legs than me. We get far enough away from home for me to poop, and we cross Big Big Black, White Stripe to Park.

Leash off, gate closed, Daddy howls his call, “Psycho Killer, run run run run run away!” and I do, lap after lap round and round, impress two legs and four legs, Daddy happy. Most people in Park still have faces. Play with Pork Chop, Hashtag, Aja, Samson, Gargamel, Ichi. Shepard dog makes us line up big to small. Boring, back to run & wrestle. Little black-white hair dog, old, come, jump on Daddy leg, Daddy follows Black-White, me on station behind left leg, Izzy Daddy says, to tall woman, smell sick inside, like Mommy last time sun high, air hot hot hot. Daddy won’t mate but I know he wants something from her. Does she want to mate with him? Never know what two-legs on two-legs think. Daddy and Izzy mommy talk people talk. I see-smell what they say in dog talk. She doesn’t have what he wants, yet. Daddy trusts her, I see she has many sheep to herd, but wants to give Daddy the thing he asked about. Two-Legs start leaving, three dogs and me still in Park. Daddy throws flying plate, I chase, come back, try to get Daddy to tug. Daddy won’t. Says droppit droppit, still won’t tug. Then I know. Drop plate, Daddy throw, Me catch, return, Daddy throw. Fun game. We go home to Mommy. Daddy stops to get squirrel peanuts, starts a fire-stick and puts it in his mouth. I’m a good boy, Daddy put white goo from wall on hands, rub rub rub, give treats at car no wheels no windows.

Home. Home best place. Drink, lick empty breakfast bowl. Daddy in little cave, little cave with little box with pictures. Maybe little box, little cave give Daddy square leaves. Lair secure, I run down hall, fly onto Mommy in big bed. Belly rub, little groom. Something wrong Daddy little box. Go beep BEEEP beep beep. Now go beep beep beep, beep beep beep. Fly off bed, run to little cave. Tag Daddy. Tag again. Daddy look at picture in little box. Daddy look at me. Daddy touch mouse-can’t-eat, can’t-touch. Daddy look at me again. Little box now go beep BEEP beep beep. Sunovabitch, Daddy says. Daddy not fall, Daddy not break, not drop. Why Sunovabitch? Me? My first Mommy was a bitch. Daddy look at me again. Good Dog, you fixed it. Sunovabitch. Time to sleep big bed with Mommy.

Knock Knock Knock. Why knock knock knock? Brown shorts man already knock. Bring big box. Why I see squirrels? Dream. I’m dreaming. Chase squirrels. Knock again.

"Who knock now?"


“Here I am. Who there?”

“Laura. Your Sister Laura.

“Have Mommy, have Daddy, no sister. Whole litter all boys like me. No sister.”

“Look in the toy box. Find the Hippo. Grey, Fat. Smell it.”

I never played with Hippo. Don’t know why. I sniff it.

“Look at the horse, many colors. Smell it. And the bear.”

Toys I never played with.

“Omar, look at them, look close.”

“Why these toys no eyes, Laura?”

“I ripped them out. I’m a predator. Go in the closet where the smell soap is. Bottom. Back. I was sick there.”

I start shaking when I smell Laura’s sick. Daddy can’t find me, Mommy can’t find me until I whine and shake. Belly rubs, treats, pettings. I curl up in the basket. Daddy and Mommy in little cave, each with little box with lights. But Mommy not need square leaves. Daddy get leaves.

“Laura, come back. Laura. Where are you?’

“Omar. Look on the big green chest. Look at the little wooden box with the strip of metal on it. I’m in the box. The pictures around the box are me.”

“Why Laura talk to me?”

“Don’t you see? Everything changed. Mommy, Daddy need help. I help you help them. People losing faces. You saw that. You have to help them before Mommy, Daddy lose faces. When they argue, don’t walk away. You know how to tell who is dominating, who doesn’t play fair. Lick the face of the unfair one, they’ll get the idea. Don’t eat the table. Don’t eat the pillows. You need to be a good boy now. Wake up tomorrow, on walk, plot it out. Pick the squirrel to stalk. Work the sight lines. Fluffball like you can wrestle and run, you can hunt, too. I know it. But snatch it, don’t kill it, don’t hurt it.”

I wake up. Sun in window, warm. Mommy put food in bowl. Daddy, me, in car no wheels, no windows. Very small treat for pee. Daddy and Tall Yellow talk; Tall yellow no face now. They talk. I stalk. Young grey, bad scar on rear leg, climbs down tree, waiting for peanut from Daddy. I take the opposite angle, get the critter, bring it to Daddy.

“Droppit Omar, Droppit,” Daddy said. Not angry like before. Proud. Daddy proud Omar hunt, again sunovoabitch and smile. Scar-leg takes the big triple peanut, goes back up tree. Big-big treat from Daddy

Upstairs. I make sure the lair is secure this room, that room. I go to the big green chest, reach up, up, up, touch the box. I know I have a sister now. Good to have a sister.

March 26, 2020 01:46

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Shirley Medhurst
14:12 Apr 02, 2020

Interesting language... I did get a bit confused a couple of times tho, I must admit.... Well done.


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Pierson Carlsen
22:51 Apr 01, 2020

Love the tone and language of the story! Keep going!


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