April 4, 2018 at 5:30 p.m.

Real-life Fables: That old, ugly dog

By Clyde Compton-

Walking out the front door on a beautiful fall morning I take in the wonderful sight of a serene and peaceful setting.

Up and down the street children are playing all the games that made being younger an exciting and joyous time.

"Hi, Mr. Compton," I hear some of the local kids yell as my car pulls out of the driveway.

"What more could anybody ask for?" I think aloud as the car seems to drive itself to the destination that I have made so many times -- Good family, friends and life made the trip down this overgrown path, deep in the woods, well worth it.

Walking up to the small, wooden cross I gently pull the weeds away that have sprouted up since my last trip here and lay the red rose upon the ground. Suddenly, my memory soars.

"Get away from me!" I yelled at the old, ugly dog that had for some reason picked me to follow around. Every time I came out of the house and walked down the street, there he was -- about 10 feet behind me with his head hanging down.

"Here comes Larry with his old buddy," my friends began to tease me as the scene repeated itself over and over. Outraged over what they were saying I reached down, picked up a rock and threw it at the dog with all my strength. Missed by a mile but it was enough to cause him to run behind the nearest tree and poke his head out and with sad brown eyes, stand there trembling.

"Nice throw" I thought to myself as I jumped on my bike to try to put as much distance between us. Playing baseball is a hot and dirty sport but as a 10-year old the more dirt the better. After this particular game I was in heaven. Reaching down to lift the gate in the backyard I felt a lick on my hand and knew that he was back.

"Larry got his first kiss," I heard my friends say as my foot kicked the old, ugly dog in the middle of his ribs. Howling in pain the dog ran off down the street trying to find somewhere to lay down.

"Good riddance and don't ever come back," I thought on my way home.

I asked mom if I could go over to Shane's.

"Yes Larry, but be home at 9," mom said and I knew that everything would be OK as long as I was home on time.

Jumping on my bike I looked up and down the street but there was no dog in sight and I figured all my troubles were over. Playing is awfully hard work and after a while Shane and I decided to take a short nap in his clubhouse.

Crickets were chirping when I suddenly sat upright out of a dead sleep and realized that darkness had already fallen. Chills ran up and down my spine knowing what mom was going to do to me. Panic set in as I try to find my bike and get home as soon as possible.

Darting out between two cars my heart dropped to my stomach as I looked up at the two headlights bearing down on me. Suddenly a yellow ball of fur hurled itself at me, knocking me back behind the curb. "Thud" was the only sound I heard as the headlights continued on their way.

Picking myself up I walked over and looked down on the lifeless body of the old, ugly dog.

Written on the back of the small cross in the deep woods along the overgrown path were the words:

"I owe all that I am to you and your life was not in vain. Because if it were not for you I could not of touched the lives that I have."[[In-content Ad]]