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Toby & The Slanty-Eyed Devils
American Dog #1
© 2023 James LaFond
Toby could not always understand human speech, and could never fathom any speech other than English. It is surmised that his ability to understand English is due to the circumstances of his coming to Cedar Mountain…
Toby holds a vague puppyish recollection of being taken from his mother and siblings, yanked right off the tit, by a jabbering little man with a distinct slant to his eyes. Toby’s paranormal case officer thinks that this is a transposed memory adopted in Toby’s mind based on the story told to him and before him, at a family dinner table, by his self-proclaimed rescuer, James Chosen. Whether or not the story of Toby’s salvation is true, it is fact that he first developed the ability to understand English seated upon the lap, covered in carpenter pants, of James, at the dinning room table as his benefactor regaled his wife and sons with the story of Toby’s adoption…
There Toby sat, sitting upright and paws out, his back to his benefactor’s belly, his haunches on the ape’s lap, his pointy black ears perked up as the wind howled down off the mountain and sang a ghostly song as it whistled through the great metal stanchions that marched down the cut in the cedar forest pulsing with electrical energy. [1] In the shadowed nears the cedar trees of the Chosen Family House sawed and sighed in the grips of the wicked wind. Yet in the background, up on higher ground, the steely stanchions moaned a horrific song.
So the puppy did shiver on James Chosen’s lap.
At the table sat, beautiful, blond Mamma Bear, deeply thinking blond Smooka Bear and his older brother, the impulsive Benny Bear, blond as well. These youths referred to Mamma Bear as Madre and to James as The Geeze or Geeze. There were two other chairs occupied by those who judged the newly arrived puppy less kindly: the cats, Mamma Bisquick and Tuxedo Annie.
Annie hissed, “I think I shall claw his ears in his sleep and then dig out his eyes and bat them across the floor.”
The puppy cringed.
Bisquick purred, “Vicious child of mine—this dog may be put to better use. He is already beloved by The Cooker of Food. Recall always, that humans, being stupid, identify with dogs, as fellow stupid creatures and feed them more readily than we. Let this dog gain us food—improved food!”
“Will you then, Pup!?” hissed Tuxedo Annie, as she showed off her gleaming claws and tapped them on the wooden chair.
The puppy was terrified, “You can count on me!”
Then, all of a sudden, the puppy could understand the human speech…
James Chosen spoke with a comic candor, “So, Mamma Bear, since Benny here saw fit to drink all of my best bourbon and then run over my beautiful bird dog with my truck, in my yard, which had to be dispatched vet in hand, I’ve been on the lookout for a dog.”
Mamma Bear glowed rosy cheeked, “He is so beautiful, all black and such a curly tail! Where did you find him?”
James hugged the puppy and said, “I was down in Seattle at the Asian market and decided to take a short cut back to the parking lot. There were so many of those jabbering, slanty-eyed devils fighting for a place in line that I decided on a change of menu. Then, as I walked out through the butcher shop I see this slanty-eyed devil hanging this little black dog—can’t be but twenty pounds—up to butcher him and I say, ‘Oh no you don’t Poo Man Chew, this is America and this is an American Dog,’ and I saved this little guy from the noose.”
“Mah Man!’ glowed Mamma Bear.
Smooka bear shook his head in disbelief and smirked, “So you stool a Chinese person’s dog?”
“Oh, no, Smooka Bear, it was a rescue!”
Benny Bear asked, “So Geeze, what’s his name?”
James petted the black puppy roughly on the back of the head and said, “Nig,” short for “Nigg—”
“No you don’t!” objected Mamma Bear.
Benny chuckled, “Leave it to The Geeze!”
James then recovered, “Okay, Toby then, Toby is his name!”
Mamma Bear was aghast, “Really, that’s the best you can do?”
Toby looked at James and Benny said, “See Madre, he likes Toby!”
Smooka Bear chimed in, “I think I’ll call him Tobes.”
“There you go,” grinned James, “Tobias is a great name, his full name in fact.”
“Go ahead, Toby,” hissed Tuxedo Annie, “suck up to that crazy ape and develop trust—get us some food that bleeds, that steams like blood gushing from a freshly rent throat at dawn!”
Toby found sudden motivation, if not in his name, in his purpose, of getting food for his cruel fellow four-legs and flipped around in James arms, put his paws on those apish shoulders and licked that bristly ape snout.
“Tobes, that’s gross!” shouted Benny as the others smiled, James approved, “My Bobo Animal,” and Bisquick purred, “Thank Night for the shameless indignity of dogs—work it Toby, he thinks you care!”
“Yes, Night has let down her shroud!” hissed Annie, as she walked crookedly towards the sliding glass door, “Toby, I need to kill—get a human on the door, post-haste.”
Toby, no hero, don’t you know, jumped down off of James and went to the door, where Annie head rubbed him, which caused Mamma Bear to say, “Awe, Annie and Toby are friends already!”
James slid open the door and smiled, “A man needs a dog in this world—now check the perimeter Dark Wing Dog.”
Toby put on a big show of raising the hackles on his back and curling his tail arrogantly as he paraded back and forth on the patio. Then he saw a small house, like a tiny human would live in, and was stunned, that a human might fit in there. Annie purred, “Oh, that is a dog house, where you will sleep, cold and alone into the shallows of night.”
A natural, imperious instinct rose in Toby’s soul and he pranced over to that wretched little dog hut and lifted his leg on it, [2] to which James laughed loudly, “Mamma Bear, we need a dog bed for Toby to put inside the door—I think he is Nigerian royalty!”
Annie hissed as she stalked out into the darkening shadows, “Apes have such easily adjusted minds—well-done, black dog.”
Metalithic Note
-1. It is this author’s contention that it was the stanchion song, an awesome thing to hear, that brings Toby nervously shivering with twitchy ears, that gifted him with an understanding of human speech rare among four-legged kind.
-2. As I turn off the light in the exterior pump room at bedtime and Toby makes his final circuit of the house and nears the chicken coop, triggering the motion sensor light, he habitually turns and looks through the window at me as he lifts his leg on his old and never slept in dog house, as if reminding me that he sleeps inside and I do not. Toby lifts his leg more than any dog I have known… and I have known many a few.
American Dog
american dog
Toby & James Chosen
the lesser angels of our nature
barbarism versus civilization
the first boxers
on the overton railroad
logic of force
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