Once there was a dog
. Though she was a very Good Dog she would not beg
. This had cost her the love of her first master and left her to fend for herself
on the open road
. She briefly found a family that seemed to want to take her in, but since she would not eat from the floor as dogs
must she was forced to leave them too
. At last, she found one of her kind, a timber wolf
in the woods. He offered her both food and shelter but the price there was still too high
. So, without food now for three days and growing weak the dog
stumbled through the woods till she came to a clearing. She was high up on a hill and far below here was the city of Pittsburgh
. She looked at all of the light and the three wide rivers
snaking around the sky scrapers and she quickened her pace a bit because surely there would be at least a dumpster there where she could pick at the trash and regain her strength.
And so, regaining a bit of the joy she knew only as a very young pup she barrelled down the hillside towards the city. The slope had looked solid when she first stared running but she soon found that it was crumbling under her paws and when she tried to slow down she only built up more speed. At last her right front paw caught on a root and she tumbled head over heels along with the dirt and rocks and tree branches she had kicked up as she ran. As she tumbled time seemed to slow and she had a moment of clarity that sometimes comes in times of great chaos and duress and as she fell watching the swirl of sky then earth around her she thought "aye. I am a very unlucky dog." Never has a dog thought a thing so true.
But the she slammed in to a solid tree trunk near the base of the hill with a sharp yelp. She was bruised but uninjured and only when she shook off the dirt head to tail and tail to head did she discover that one of her ribs and her right paw (the one that was caught) were sore. But she was all right mostly. And she hobbled now with more caution towards the city.
It was not long before she came to a store front, the store was shut-up for the night, but there was a child's lunchbox sitting in the parking lot and sparkling in the moon light. She approached the lunchbox and sniffed it and indeed there was something fresh and food-like inside. She pawed the box and bit it but could not open it. She pushed it along the asphalt scratching its shiny surface. She began to growl in frustration. She was so absorbed in opening the box that she did not notice the car pulling up.
The car was the sedan of a rich city family and it stopped and a little girl hopped out. "Mommy, mommy there it is!" she said.
The dog had enough of giving things up for one day and she narrowed her eyes at the girl, placed one paw on the box and growled low and slow as a warning. She had lost the crawdads, and she had given back the few bites of deer carcass for the timber wolf she was not going to give up the lunchbox.
Then another car door opened and from the driver's seat stepped the little girls mother she scoped her daughter up and put her back in the car. "back off you brute!" she said.
The dog did not back off. Instead she barked then retired to growling. The mother got back in to the car and picked up her cellphone. The dog thinking the threat was gone began to work on opening the lunchbox again. She worked with more vigor now since it seemed important to get the food out and run before the crazy people in the car did anything else.
The little girl watched from the window of the car. The dog was ruining her lunchbox! The little girl began crying and this only made the dog more angry. The dog hated the sound of crying. It made something wounded and fearful rise up in her belly and she feared that the sadness of the sound would make her howl. She resented herself for being so susceptible to such a weak emotion and so she became even more violent with the lunchbox.
At last the latch popped open and the dog gleefully leaned forward to eat the sandwich paper and all. But before she could even taste the fruit of her labors she found herself in a net. Then she felt a prick on her side and quite suddenly everything went black.
The dog catcher had found her. She woke up in a cage not quite high enough for her to stand without her ears being bent down. All around here was the stale odor of death and other dogs and feces and urine. At that moment she remembered the delicious smell of the sandwich and the sound of the little girl crying so miserably and the combination of these two memories overcame the dog and she howled long and deep. Her side and paw still hurt and one back leg was stiff from the awkward way she had fallen asleep. This made her howl even more.
Outside of the cage a woman in a white coat turned around and kneeled down. "Look who woke up!" She said in a chirpy voice. "The dog who would not back off."
For some reason the dog instantly hated the woman and she barked once sharply to let her know this. But the woman just chuckled and left the room humming an annoying tune.
And so the dog curled up and hid her nose and eyes with her tail and soon she was asleep again and she dreamed of revenge.