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Toby & The Mules
American Dog #13
© 2023 James LaFond
Toby had followed James Chosen out to the car the previous day in hopes of going to Burger King, or to the Slanty-Eyed Devil gas station to lay some enamel on those jabbering humans. But no, James wanted LaFond, had his two-legged human stray, his mini-me who he was trying to teach how to cook, build, run Slanty-Eyed Devils off the road, and such forth.
‘I wish I were still asleep—this is terrible.’
Off they drove with Toby running behind them down the long driveway which LaFond had been detailed to rake, level and drain—some of the many things an ape had to do to please his trucks and cars.
“James,” barked Toby, “James Chosen, I am your guardian, your sleek black herald of attack. I am on duty, at the bridge, right here, Master!”
Toby looked mournfully out down the private road as he stood at the bridge over the creek, confident that both men, the master and his defective stray, trusted him to keep watch over the property in their absence...yet sad that they did not seem to notice him there.
‘Okay, the show is over. Back for some much needed leisure. Smookah bear will be up within the hour, cooking bacon and eggs and buttery potatoes!’
Toby turned back as he heard the Chosen truck clack over the asphalt at the bottom of the private road where it met the public road to Burger King. To the sad noise of James Chosen driving away Toby pranced back to the bridge, proxy defender of the Chosen Homestead below Cedar Mountain.
“Hear, nig-nig-nig-nig!” came a coyote’s voice from the creek bed below to his left, causing Toby to prance sideways to the right.
There, below to his right another coyote voice whined, “Hea, nigga-nigga-nigga dawg—house bitch wit the butt itch!”
Another coyote, larger, older, bolder emerged from the pond margin ahead, his yellow eyes sallow in the dim late afternoon gloom, a string of drool dressing his mangy under snout, “Awes, y’all, coot kin, don’ frightin’ me viddles lessin’ yea sour ‘is chittlins whats I gonna nibble!”
Three terrible little canines of wild gray hate had descended and caught Toby in there wily net.
“I am the Big Dog! The Black Dog!! Loyal to Jame Chosen! Back!” blustered Toby, sounding really formidable… if one ignored the shivering whine after the naming of his master now gone over the mountain.
“Hear, nig-nig-nig-nigggiddy pig, roll ova en let us reel out guts ova nuts!”
They were rising, getting closer and then Toby heard Amos wolf up the road, “Amos, Izzy, Amos—help!” barked Toby.
Then the pond coyote grinned and slavered, “Dey was bad en dey masser’s boss mamma what don’ like yo er yer’s locked dem in dat pen—wortliss dey is ta ye black dawg!”
“Fast feet!” yelped Toby, and he bolted without looking, without a thought, with churning paws quicker than fear across the road, down through the thicket, under the fence where Amos,’ rank hair clung from his mule turd eating expeditions, with three mangy Sons of the Canine Confederacy upon his glossy black heels, “Run nig, run, play out some fun!” they yipped as Toby, surprised at how very fast he was, bolted through heaping piles of straw infused green mule turds, kicking up clouds of unsavory goo behind him, the white of his enamel teeth striking a gleaming contrast with his sleek shining hide.
The mules stood sullenly in the sodden rain munching their tasteless straw.
Toby veered left away from them, up the mountain, getting closer to the left-most pursuer who he heard slaver, “Black balls fo’ viddle fiddle!”
Toby ran faster, a surge of pride rising on his hackle haired back, his sleek black ears tuckered back, ‘My I am fast as all get out!’
The big sallow eyed coyote from the pond was hot on his tail, “Gibs dem chittlin’s ta me dawg oh niggary!”
And Toby ran faster, spraying his underside with his own pee, even dropping poo, which he hoped would cause that big old coyote to slip.
A snort of fury thundered before him, as Samson, the great black mule, taller than a truck, rose up out of the hay pit and reared, stomping down at Toby with his two great hooves, missing him barely. Toby raced under and past. Samson, wheeled in a great mud-hurling circle, kicking at the coyotes who broke formation and circled.
Toby turned left passed the snapping jaws of Nig-nig, the other two on his heels, a tuft of his hunch fur now being gobbled by the nastiest and smallest of the coyotes who tormented him so with their songs of sedition and threats of perdition.
Toby was running flat north now, along the mountain, under the wire fence, through the ticket, across the road, down through the briers, across the creek, up through the thicket, over the branch road, along the back driveway to the place where he could hear Izzy and Amos howling in captive tears.
‘I’m commin’ Big Buddy,’ growled Toby, his chest barreling out as he sucked in the misty air before night afrighted the land.’
“We gotz em boss!” yipped Nigga-nigga-Coyote, “he goin’ fo broke, tinks he can open gates!”
“First feed ta he who takes blackie-boy...dough ‘is chittlin’s be mines!” declared the big coyote.
Toby turned up the driveway to The Colonel’s house, the bear hunting man who Izzy and Amos served. He began to flag, his rear paws slipping on cedar boughs, the three coyotes licking at the mud mixed with his tender paw blood.
“Awwwooo!” howled Izzy, fretting from within the pen, shaking with an urge to fight and serve. [1]
‘The gate—like a door don’t slide,” thought Toby as he bent to the bottom of the gate and snagged the bright steely lever that held it closed.
“Gotchhaw,” slathered the coyote on his back, Toby having no way to slide this gate or pull it back, his dew claw slipping from the lever.
Izzy was stuck on the other side pushing the fence against Toby, and the big coyote whined, “Oh noeeeze!”
So groaned the coyote whose jaws were now closing on the back of Toby’s neck. Toby was afraid to turn his neck and give his throat, but his neck turned for him in those lean mangy jaws as the old coyote was ripped off of Toby’s neck by Amos, who, with bear like snout that thrust his head through the gap in the jammed gate, pawing and bowling over Izzy…
Toby was rolled and tumbled under a broken gate of wire and wood and pinned there face in the mossy sod as his canine friends trod him like a mule did the ground.
Two mangy coyotes pranced about Izzy and Amos, nipping at their shaggy haunches and heels as Izzy held a hind leg of the old sallow-eyed coyote and Amos held its face in his jagged wolf-like jaws.
“Mine!” snarled Izzy.
“Mines!” growled Amos.
“Iffin’ y’all don’t mind?” whimpered the old coyote—and it tore in half, like a big string mat of meaty mess.
Toby was stuck under the gate looking on in a haze of salvation as the two coyotes bolted in three directions, Izzy dropped the hind quarters of the old coyote and howled and Amos pranced on his own hind paws as he growled, “Mines, mines, yummy mines!” a gore gushing, gut dangling coyote head face first under his grinding teeth.
Not to be left out, Toby scampered from under the broken gate and howled, “Black and Bad, a dog with a pack...Tobyyyyyy…”
And so Toby would always howl at the coyotes in his dreams, dreams that would always haunt him from his paws, henceforth, for the mix of mule stink, Toby blood and coyote goo splashed all over him by Amos, would forever cling to his paws and remind him of this nearly night.
“Thanks, y’all,” said Toby to his friends.
Izzy nuzzled him, “No, thank you for the victory of dogs in the name of men.”
Amos simply gobbled, “Yum-yum all out da pen!”
The stench of mule came up the driveway and Toby shivered, and lied, “I’d love to eat some coyote, but Smookah Bear is cooking bacon and eggs, with buttery potatoes—latter!” be continued in chapter 14.
-1. I viewed, on one snowy day. Toby breaking the two big hounds from their pen.
Toby & The Elkish Mole
american dog
Toby & The Boo Cave
on the overton railroad
the year the world took the z-pill
song of the secret gardener
honor among men
under the god of things
night city
into leviathan’s maw
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