The Dog—A short story by Candace Clayton

 It was a beautiful, sun-shiny day.  Sounds cliché, I know, but it is true.  I was walking down the street on my way home from school and it really was a beautiful, sunshiny day.  The birds were singing and the bees were buzzing around the flowers happily pollinating and gathering supplies to make their honey.          I was turning the corner to my street when I saw it.  It was a huge dog.  He had shaggy, dirty hair and looked like he hadn’t eaten in days.  As I got closer to the dog, I could see he had something strange hanging out of his mouth.  I couldn’t see what it was, so I kept moving closer to the dog. 

The closer I got, the more I could make out details of the thing in the dog’s mouth. Whatever it was, it was a dingy gray color.  Then I could see that it had little black specks all over it. My imagination soared as I tried to figure out what the dog was holding. What if the dog was starving and had killed a kitten to feed itself.  Maybe the dog was carrying a rotten fish around in its mouth, yuck! Drawing ever nearer to the mangy mutt, I could make out that the Thing, as I had dubbed it, was flat.  It looked to be made of material and it flopped up and down on each side of the dog’s mouth as he walked.

I walked up beside the dog and he stopped and looked up at me. That is when I realized what the dog was carrying in his mouth.  It was a pair of boxer shorts.  The dog must have raided someone’s clothesline.  Laughing at myself, I reached around and pulled my backpack off my back.  I had half a sandwich left from that day’s lunch and I fed it to the grateful dog, before continuing on my way home.

That was the first time I saw that mangy dog, but not the last.  Everyday after school he was waiting at that corner.  I always saved half my sandwich for him and fed it to him as he walked me home.  We became great friends.  Just think, I would have missed an enjoyable friendship if I had not been curious about what that dog had in his mouth.


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