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Toby & The Human Invaders
American Dog #16
© 2023 James LaFond
FEB/18/24
Toby stood lookout upon the porch, the first porch, not the second porch, where Izzy sulked hoping beyond hope that her precious stray human would stop what he was in his tiny den doing—which consisted of small taps upon something black on his lap—and not the front porch where this sub standard, reject of a stray human was obsessed with stacking the maximum of wood.
The cats were ever aghast as they observed the dottering ape limping too and fro with its great loads of wood:
Annie: “Slave, work slave, get me closer to the rats den, keep it up—ignore the audible collapse of your deteriorating skeleton and the visible collapse of your apish cadence—to work, slave, to work!”
Bisquick: “Avast, and I thought myself a queen, descendant of Royal Nefretiti. And yet, pretty Jen Chosen, unlucky enough to have married her bristle-snouted beast of a husband, having been bred four savage sons of Apery, has as a loyal and even eager slave, the sporting thing of her crude mate! Observe, Wicked Child of Mine and learn. We heard, did we not, the two of us hunting rats under its nightly bier, the deep pain of the stray human when it woke to the embrace of uncaring Night and moaned?”
Annie: “Yes, fat and ever slowing Mother of Mine, his groans postponed the opening of your soft throat!”
Bisquick: “Bye and bye, child, you are yet my wicked charge. Recall, do you, the popping of its hip joint, as it jammed its pieces together and flopped out of bed like a fish, crawled cross the unyielding floor and dragged itself upright.”
Annie: “Please, Mother, if Night comes for me such like, eat my brain.’
Bisquick: “Noted in the Book of Claws...with respect. To wit, yet, did we not marvel as it dragged itself into an upright semblance of a human who had not yet lost the race that they must all fail to complete?”
Annie: “Yes, suffocating Mother of Fool Cousin Hope’s slain brother. I do so recall that I looked away, no longer hungry for its pathetically sluggish pumping blood.”
Toby: “Hey, I’m on the lookout here. Why am I hearing this? Can’t y’all have your disturbing conversations without muddling my observations of the pending invasion?”
Annie: “Oh, Mother, may I kill Toby? Just this once, only for a while. The apes will bring him back…”
Bisquick: “Annie—The Pact of Fangs, clause 17:81.”
Toby had never before been afraid of Bisquick, until that feline reference had been uttered and the evil thoughts of Annie had stopped complete, that ever succulent quest to kill…
Bisquick: “Toby. You be a four leg. Note the wretched stray human, limping with the wood in one wan hand, holding his spilling guts in with the strong hand, pretending to be like the strong man, to deposit wood upon the Front Porch—the best hunting vantage here about—and used for nothing but hoarding unburnt wood. What sense does this make?”
Toby: “None. This human is retarded. It even refuses food. This is why I use it for Fool Big Dog Bait and Annie uses it for over watch under hawks.”
Bisquick: “Why does IT Do These Pointless things?”
And the answer rang out from the silvery voice of the pretty sun-haired human sitting at the musical box chair [1]: “LaFond, thank you so much. You make the winters easy. You are such a hard worker!”
The wretched thing seemed suddenly animated with fresh purpose, if not quite life, as the three hounds of TOBY’s Big Chump-Town Dog Coursing Pack looked on…
Izzy: “Look at him—the perfect human, loyal like a blood stain, hungerless as the empty howl of the night train [2]. It must require my protection, my ever vigilant direction, from behind, from the hip, where humans do not know that they are guided by such a humble soul as I…”
Amos, lying in the mud puddle under the fluttering hide of red and white stripes and white specks upon a blue field, upon the Chosen light pole: “Nothing to kill, nothing to eat, nothing to chase, nothing to rip into quivering shreds of meat...boring, boring...you hear this Izz, nothing worth interrupting my snoring…”
Toby: “This is a disaster. I just lead the pack to victory and now, now, there is nothing wrong in the world to beat, to defeat. That dumbass lab is going to need two summers, at least, to forget that ass whooping and make the same mistake again.”
Bisquick: “Never fear, to the attuned mind an enemy is ever near!”
Mrs. Posen: “LaFond, Mamma’s parcel is set for delivery this morning. Wamazon is threatening to stop delivery if Toby—I see you there you dog of bad character—continues attacking their drivers.”
LaFond: “Got it, Ma’am.” and it stood, tall—well, as tall as it could manage—and resolute.
Izzy: “Look at him there, so loyal and tenacious!”
A long gray car-truck, thing, not quite resplendant enough for a trip to bacon and Burger King, pulled up, with a young, nervous, brown human behind the wheel.
Toby, House Dog of Record, immediately charged the vehicle, threatened the black tires with barred fangs and began to bark, “Invader! Invader!!” [3]
Amos: “A bad human to eat!” charged…
LaFond: horrified, ran to the driver’s aid, “Watch out for the creek, bro!”
Izzy: afraid for her hero, sought to chase the invader…
Toby: all a snarl and a hero, led the hairy pack after the wobbling vehicle, which was soon stuck in the creek, the brown man crying, and the grim, gray sky smiling. [4]
Notes.
-1. In the morning, beautiful Mrs. Chosen, atimes, pages through her Bible for inspiration as Dawn slants timidly down, then rises, turns, sits before the organ, begins to finger peddle a hymn and sings from God to man as Granny smiles, the cats frown, Toby turns in confusion, and the weird stray emerging from the pump room suddenly smiles, hearing a song that raises a deathly heart to the Godly throng.
-2. The Colonel’s wife, head Church Lady of the precinct, constantly reminded LaFond, that Izzy had mistaken him for a great man.
-3. James Chosen has assured those present, though he was not, being master of said “Plantation” that Toby was barking, “N...ger!” This has since been admitted by Toby during a game of “Rivers” dice…
-4. Toby was thence the cause of this stray human rebuilding the washed out driveway that the harried delivery driver had failed to use as a getaway.
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