by Russell W.B.
neatly manicured lawn cut within an inch of its
life, Sam's English Springer Spaniel, Puff,
bounded playfully with a punctured, soggy, half-flat
tennis ball in his mouth.
Puff, the twelve year old boy instructed,
holding his hand out. A cool breeze rippled
across the perfect clusters of pink and golden
growled excitedly, yanking with his teeth as Sam
carefully grabbed the ball while trying not to
he said, Don't bite me Puffy!
grandfather's garage was connected to the front
of the enclosed yard which was surrounded by an
immaculately painted white fence. Sam could hear
the creaking of the automatic door opening and a
car rolling in. As the handbrake squawked and the
engine cut out, Puff's big brown eyes swiveled
expectantly towards the tall wooden gate.
it Puffy? The dog yanked harder at the
tennis ball twisting his body, trying to pry it
out of Sam's hand.
A car door
slammed and there was the rustle of shopping bags.
Puff let go of the ball and Sam threw it across
the yard, where it bounced off the wooden deck
and landed in the freshly turned earth of his
grandfather's petunias. Seconds later, Puff was
digging and sniffing through the flowers. Sam
heard the thud of the garage door and the jingle
of keys outside the front gate. Puff came
barreling from the resplendent garden like a
rocket, green stems matted into his smiling
Just as the
gate opened and Earnest P. Goodwin, Sam's
grandfather, entered in his usual grey trousers,
white collared shirt and peaked cap, the fluffy
brown spaniel dropped the ball and began to squat,
legs splayed, on the pristine green grass. For a
moment, there was only the sound of cicadas.
Earnest's face dropped, clearly mortified.
bloody dog! the old man bellowed, rattling
the plastic bags like he was warding off spirits.
He was trembling with rage.
smiling innocently, the dog's tail quivered like
a candle in the breeze as he went about his
time I come though that gate, that bloody dog of
yours shits on my lawn!
slammed the gate with his foot before turning
back to his grandson.
disgorging a second impressive turd on the lawn.
ever considered, Sam retorted caustically,
the dog sees you coming and shits itself?