Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Good and Bad (05/07/09)
TITLE: Buck and Boo
By Jim McWhinnie
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Their mama was proud. You could tell by the tender care she gave each one. She nuzzled each and gave them each life giving kisses as mother dogs are called to do by nature or by some unseen angels who care for such ones as these. They looked as twins, these two little ones, as much as little Labrador retriever puppies can be twins. Two new lives born so perfect, but not quite fully formed, eyes still closed searching for the scent of life out here in this very big world.
As is reflective of my backwoods, buckskin, brawny style of life, I called one pup, Buck, and the other, Boo. And thus we began our long life together.
These two shared their mother’s nurture and their distant father’s heritage. Ancient instincts had come to both along a common path. They felt the same warmth from their mother’s milk and the same petting of their master’s hand. Yet, from early on, Buck and Boo were of different ways.
Buck was bold. He was eager to break the rules I made, always wanting to explore the realms beyond the boundaries of my definition of civilized cohabitation with the human creature in his life. In contrast, Boo was always yearning to please, the first to master the skills required of a well-trained, well-mannered dog. He seemed quite at ease with the ways of human domesticity. Buck strained at the leash; Boo never needed one.
On our walks, Boo would stay near to me, not daring to go too far off the well-worn path. While Buck . . . well, Buck . . . he was always chasing rabbits, whether the rabbits were truly there or not. So our walks were always filled with my shouts, “Buck, get back here; get back here, boy.” All the while, I would be returning Boo’s worried gaze with a petting pat upon his head.
We grew old together, Buck, Boo and me. Buck was always being called the bad boy of the pair, the strong-willed, independent, far less obedient of the two. Boo was always the good boy of this ill-matched team, the highly devoted one, so dependent, so willing to play by the rules. Yet with all of that, I loved them both and they both loved me.
Good and bad, so difficult to determine which is which and which is best. Buck was born Buck and lived well God’s dream for him. And Boo was born Boo and lived well God’s dream for him.
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