Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Bark is Worse than His/Her Bite (10/17/13)
By Jeff Lockshin
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I loved calling on this account. In addition to being blessed with a substantial amount of revenue from the multiple orders I received from them; the people that I transacted business with there were the most pleasant and kind hearted individuals on my sales route. After awhile I grew to value them as more than mere customers, but indeed as true friends. I suspected that their comfortable home style work place served to enhance their naturally engaging spirits; though questioning at times if they would have been so extra delightful if they had to bear the burden of toiling within the sterile fluorescent borders of a typical commercial office venue.
As pleasing as the sales calls were, there was a downside. Offsetting my joy was a colossal and quite frightening barrier I needed to conquer before gaining entrance to the basement office. Getting there required walking up a lengthy driveway. A brief distance before approaching the arch, which looped over the upper portion of it, I would inevitably heed the resonant thunderous earsplitting bark that indicated Ripper was outside standing guard.
Penned adjacent to the office door within a wrought iron fence complete with bars, lay in wait a truly daunting mammoth sized German Shepherd. He was the largest of the breed I had ever encountered, and still to this day, I have not yet espied his equal. Ripper was fear and terror in perpetual motion. I remember considering that if he was not the devil incarnate, he was at least possessed by legions of his raging demons.
Ripper insanely provoked all visitors and strangers with his deafening, viscerally intimidating repertoire of barking and snarling. His huge bulk lunging forward in attack mode was scarcely held in check by the iron bars of his small enclosure. And his obvious frustration of not being able to lurch over the fence and rip an observer to shreds, he transmuted, by chasing his tail in a seemingly endless circuitous pattern.
One day I sauntered up the driveway to the tune of his typical cacophonous din approaching the dreaded beast at the same time that one of my customer /friends was returning to work from her lunch break. She caught up with me in front of Ripper’s corral. “Ripper…Quiet!” she ordered casually. The giant canine immediately sat down on his haunches muttering a soft whimper.
“I guess it’s trite to say, but his bark is much worse than his bite.” She commented with a smile.
“You’ve got to be kidding!” I was incredulous over what I had just seen and what I imagined Ripper’s bite might be like. As bad as his bark was, and it was bad with a capital B. His bite would certainly sever limbs and cause severe permanent bodily damage to any human he set his teeth to.
My friend reached into her pocketbook and retrieved a small chocolate bar. Signaling for me to open my hand, she placed the treat within. “Go on and feed him.” “Don’t throw it in there.” Let him eat it out of your hand.” “You’ll see he won’t bite.”
“Absolutely not!” “This hand has served me well for thirty years; I like it just the way it is.”
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