Ike peered closer to the kitchen window trying to get a closer look at his blue eyed Pit Bull and Shepherd mixed dog named Patches. Patches was playing with a dirty stuffed animal. He watched with amusement as Patches shook the toy back and forth letting it go, only to jump on it, then shake it again. Patches was off his chain again. Ike sat down his coffee on the counter and dug around in the kitchen junk drawer for a set of pliers.
Patches had a bad habit of jumping over the four foot fence. Ike tried to fix Patches jump problem, so he chained him to the tree that was in the back yard
Last month an animal control officer had left a second warning attached to Ike’s front door. Someone called Animal Control again. That time Patches had run out into the street and was nipping at tires as children rode their bicycles around the block. Next time the official had to come out he would be served a warrant for one thousand dollars.
The first warning had come months ago. After scrambling over the fence for the umpteen-millionth time Patches was out on the driveway. He was barking at a man’s small terrier from around the block. The terrier was on a leash, but the owner wasn’t happy with Patches manner and appearance - or his bark.
Ike stepped out the kitchen door and called out to Patches, “Come here boy.” Patches came running to him with the toy. Ike reached down to pat him on the head and noticed that the toy wasn’t a toy. Oh my goodness, it was the rabbit from next door. Oh man, this is it, you’ve done it now Patches. I guess I’m going to have to take you to the pound. Ike had a brain storm as he used the pliers to repair the chain.
Ike picked up the rabbit and brought him into the kitchen. Putting him in the sink he washed off the dirt from Roger the Rabbit. Ike retrieved his wife’s blow dryer and plugged it in. Luckily she wasn’t home and wasn’t expected to return any time soon. Ike took the rabbit and the blow dryer and sat down on the kitchen floor. He fluffed and dried and fluffed with his fingers until Roger looked normal…except he didn’t move.
He noticed that there were no teeth marks and concluded that Roger must have died from shock. Patches didn’t hurt him at all. When playing, the dog never bit hard enough to break the skin. Patches loved his rope toy and would lock down and growl as you pulled the other end.
Ike looked out the front door to see if the next door neighbor’s car was home. Noticing no car, he took Roger the Rabbit and placed him back inside his cage.
An hour past and Ike heard his neighbor’s car doors slamming shut. Their home, I’ll go sit on the back porch for awhile. The young girl, about five or six years old, immediately ran to hop up on the swing. As she swung higher and higher the rabbit’s cage caught her eye and she jumped to the ground. She ran to the cage and screamed, “Mommy, Mommy, Roger is alive, Mommy, Mommy!”
The mother came out and went to the cage and opened the door. She placed her hand on Roger, turned to her daughter and told her to go get her daddy. Ike couldn’t contain himself; he stepped out and called to the mother, “Is everything okay over there? I heard your daughter screaming.”
Glancing over to his neighbor’s back door Ike overheard the father telling his daughter to stay in the house. The man walked to his wife standing next to the rabbit cage he asked, “What’s going on?”
She yelled, “We buried Roger the Rabbit yesterday and I don’t know why he is in here. Who could have done this? Why?”
Ike shrugged his shoulders and answered not a word. Raising his hands in the air, he turned and went back inside his house.
Ike gave Patches away to his brother who owned a farm on the other side of town. The brother raises rabbits and Ike picked out the most adorable baby white rabbit and brought it to his neighbors. It’s amusing what people will do to avoid facing a problem.
Read more articles by Karen Story or search for articles on the same topic or others.
If I had read this anywhere but in the library I would have been rolling on the floor; how embarassing! Yes, there is a lot of work that needs to be done on this piece, but I think it would be worth the time taken to do it. I can see this piece in Reader's Digest/Life in these United States or one of their other categories. The ending was abrupt as it changed gears, well, it's more like the gears were ground harshly. It went from a lighthearted tale to criticism (which isn't always bad) in an instant. I was smiling all the way through up until I read that last line. If an article is meant to be corrective then it should start out corrective. That way your reader will freely read or not, as the case may be. But this was like coming to a surprise party, walking through the door and getting hit in the face with a 2x4 that had "Happy Birthday" written on it. A great story all in all, but as you said, it does need more work and I hope you do it and then send it to some magazine somewhere.
Here are a few things I saw. First, in the first sentence the word "closer" is used twice. Change one of them to a synonym to portray the same meaning. Second, use more descriptive, vivid words. Some of the sentences are short and could use more detail. Example from 2nd paragraph:
"Patches yearned for freedom and habitually lept the four-foot fence where the whole neighborhood became his territory. Chaining Patches to the backyard oak tree was Ike's hopeful solution."
"Last month, Ike arrived home and spotted the dreaded notice on his door, a discontented neighbor had contacted Animal Control, it was the second warning. Patches had gleefully fled the confines of the yard and enjoyed nipping at bike tires as neighborhood children hastily tried to escape..."
Does that help some? Hope so :)
Good story, and I really hate to say this, but it sounds familiar. I think I remember a joke running along similar lines to this a while back. Maybe you heard it and it stuck in you memory but you didn't remember where it came from and thought you dreamed it up? It happens sooo easily. If you do a lot of reading, sometimes it's really hard to tell where a thought came from.
About the writing, you need to watch witch words your using. Getting past spell check doesn't work.
You used there for they're and past for passed, and I think there was another one but don't know how to get back to the article to find it.