Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: At Wit’s End (02/13/14)
TITLE: A Time to Bark
By Francy Judge
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Tonight I smell fried chicken. My favorite. I hear the sizzling of it frying from outside. I bound inside, hoping to see some in my dish, but it’s still cooking. That’s okay…I’ll wait. So I curl up on my welcome mat by the kitchen door and rest my nose on my paw and try to be patient. I clean my fur a bit to prepare for the chicken. Of course I wake up before Mom brings it to the table. My family sits down in their usual seats including Tinkerbell. I sit under the table near Josie, the youngest and most likely to drop scraps.
I know it’s good because other than lots of mm-mmm’s, the table is quieter than most nights. Tinkerbell shakes her head to ring her collar bell that she wears so no one will step on her. Jason slips her some pieces…everyone thinks she is so well behaved; but I know why. She must be eating half of Jason’s meal judging by the amount of times Tink rings her bell.
Okay, I’ve waited long enough. I lift my snout and plop it on Tara’s knee so she’ll remember I’m down here waiting. She strokes my head and says, “Get down, Missy.” I move to stage two…whimpering.
Dad raises his voice and says, “Not now, Missy.”
Not now, not fair. I try to control myself and chew on a bone for a while. It tastes like a rock. As I practically break my teeth, Tinkerbell rings her bell again, and I get a fresh whiff of chicken blowing my way as she chows down the last bite under the table hidden from everyone but Jason and me.
I’ve reached my wit’s end—to the tip of my tail! The last straw! Before I fly over the cuckoo’s nest…I stand up and bark a demanding bark. Woooof! Oof! Oof! Now they should realize I deserve my share of chicken with a bark like that.
Tara stands up too. “I’ll walk her. She must really have to go.”
“No, no, no, not out!” I bark. I said feed me chicken. She doesn’t get it, so a minute later we’re stomping down the street in slush. Ugh. Does she know how bad slush feels oozing through my paws? So I do my thing as quickly as possible and pull Tara back to the house. The whole block smells like chicken…except for Mr. Toohey’s house that smells like steak. For a second, I think of barking at his door.
“Oh, Missy, you’re all wet,” says Mom.
What did you expect? I don’t have an umbrella, and you sent me out in that mess.
“I’ve got something for you.”
I hope it’s not a new leash. But there in my bowl is a heaping portion of chicken. Ahhh. I devour it in five seconds flat. Is there more? I always want more.
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