the old man and the dog

the old man removed a pine log from the dwindling stack of wood beside the stone hearth and showed it to the small white dog. “this here’s what gets a man through the winter.” he said as the small dog tilted his head and lifted his ears. “ha ha, that’s right boy, that’s right.” the old man laughed and rubbed the dog’s neck. he was a good dog, and he was all the old man had left to keep him company in the remote log cabin. he walked over to the heavy wooden door and cracked it open and the dog jumped up and went into a barking frenzy. the old man laughed. the small dog did this every time the old man ever opened the door. he assumed it was the dog protecting him from the certain death of walking out into the snow drifts at his age. “ha ha ha, i’m not going anywhere ol’ boy, don’t you worry.” it had snowed for the last seven days and the old man began to worry about their food situation. it wasn’t good. “beans alright with you boy?” the man said taking the last can down from the shelf. he always made a point to feed the dog before himself. it gave him a sense of peace knowing he still retained his manners in the midst of an untamed wilderness. after all, he had been a gentleman once. he spooned out half the beans into the bowl on the wooden floor and ate the rest himself. “well, that’s it” he thought to himself as he scrapped the last bite from the bottom of the tin can. he couldn’t bring himself to say those words aloud. either because he didn’t want to admit he was in trouble, or because he didn’t want to let the dog know they were out of food. the snow continued for the next several days and the old man’s mind started to play tricks on him. starvation was setting in. “don’t worry ol’ boy” he said in a raspy voice to the dog, “can’t snow much longer, and we’ll have ourselves a proper feast.” that night the old man dreamed of when he was a boy. it was thanksgiving and his mother had made the best roasted turkey dinner he had ever tasted. his father had told him he would get a stomach ache if he didn’t slow down on the turkey, but his mother beamed with pride in her son’s appetite for her cooking. it was absolutely delicious. the old man woke in a cold sweat and found himself sitting at the table holding two raw turkey legs covered in white fur. “boy? where are you ol’ boy?”

1 comment:

Kim said...

Oh my gosh! This was going to be my most favorite one so far...but the dog?? Why oh why did he have to eat the dog??? (giggle) Great post!