Mr. Gardner's Black Dog

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic
Mr. Gardner’s Black Dog

Submitted: March 30, 2010

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Submitted: March 30, 2010

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Mr. Gardner’s Black Dog

By BB Umfress

During the hot, dusty summers of my childhood, I spent the vast majority of my time with my two best friends.Robbie and Larry were constantly in my company.Robbie was the kind of friend that every caring parent cringed about when he came over.Robbie was constantly looking for trouble, and he had no trouble finding it.Larry, on the other hand, was the cool level-headed character of our trio.Larry was also a twenty-six pound ball of the feline persuasion.

Robbie and I had particular quirks to our personalities that stuffy old adults tried, as best as they could, to rectify.For instance, one of our greatest bouts of mischief involved the neighborhood propane tanks that became our space vehicles.One of our spacecrafts was much larger than the typical launch-and-return type that we saw on television; it was of space-station proportions, allowing us adequate room to contact experiments along with the physically demanding routine of an astronaut.There was just one minor problem with our craft; it was strategically placed within enemy territory.

Mr. Gardner was the local old geezer whose life ambition was to torment little boys who played spaceship in his backyard.What added to the severity of our plight was the fact that Mr. Gardner was the neighborhood landlord, this gave the crusty old smoke-aholic immense control over our liberty, namely, our ability to leave our houses without being harassed by our parents.Robbie and I found it very disconcerting to see our parents in cahoots with the local Klingon Commander.

One day in particular, one that I will never forget, revolved around the artificial life simulator accidentally detaching from the main hull of the ship.To this day, Robbie and I debate as to how the gas regulator fell off the tank, but I still believe that Robbie did it.When the simulator came loose, it struck the propane tank with a resonating clang, like a Church bell being struck at noon.At that moment, Mr. Gardner charged out of his back door with a mercenary of terror.The old man’s words still haunt me to this day, “Killer, kill,” was all he had to say to send a wet stream down my leg.

Then like a whirlwind filled with black rich soil, the largest, blackest, and toothiest beast of a dog came flying by Mr. Gardner’s leg towards Robbie and me.Petrified, and sensing death at my door, I knew that Larry the Cat was our only hope.Larry the Cat was usually never far from my side.I believe this is because God knew that I was a little boy who found getting into trouble fascinating and that I needed a guardian angel.Well, the next few events that happened sped by so quickly that I didn’t have much time to react, and I had barely enough time to watch.

The reason for my lack of time was probably that I was busy hauling my chunky frame up the nearest tree.What I did manage to see was Larry bolt from underneath the spaceship toward the one-ton Rottweiler and mounts him like he was Tuna Casserole, Larry’s favorite dish.Larry’s divine intervention sent that mean old beast to a screaming halt and a one-hundred-and-eighty-degree turn back towards Mr. Gardner.The dog, because he was not able to sink his foot long fangs into Robbie or me, decided that the Landlord’s leg was the next best thing to our young veal-like bodies.Mr. Gardner let out a yelp of unimaginable pain.

Beating the animal off his lower body, Mr. Gardner hopped around like an Indian trying to make rain and fell backward off of his step.With a sickening thud, Mr. Gardner landed mere inches from Larry, who was efficiently cleaning his now dog fur filled paws.This caused Larry to become somewhat unhappy and he decided that the old man needed a refresher course in proper etiquette around grooming kitties.Mr. Gardner jumped from his reclining position and commenced to run around the yard screaming like his head was on fire.Of course, it did look like the old grump’s head was on fire with Larry sitting on top of it.Larry was, after all, a long-haired orange cat.When Larry finally decided to dismount, the old man collapsed into a pile where he exalted deeply and mumbled, “I need a cigarette.”

Both Mr. Gardner and I learned a valuable lesson that day:stay away from mean old men and their dogs, but more importantly, stay away from little boys and their mean old cats.


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