I come from the projects and I ain’t no pussy. In fact, I’d just as soon slit your throat as look at you.
They have me now. I was stupid enough to get caught after that gas station robbery. What’s the big fucking deal? We got only forty bucks. The cops came a-shootin’. My man Daryl took a bullet to the head.
Under the law, I was charged with murder in the second degree because someone died in the commission of a felony. How do you like that shit? The cops didn’t have to shoot. We were not armed … we carried toy guns. Of course, I was convicted. It was an all-white jury. What else can a black man expect in America?
Now I’m looking at twenty years to life. I sit in my cell and think of my girl. Her skin is chestnut brown in color. It’s the softest thing I’ve ever known … next to the love she has given me. Her smile used to send me to heaven. But I can’t see her smile no more. Her name is Gloria. She was my life. Now my life is trying not to get shivved in the food line.
She has written me, asking to visit. I will not allow it! I do not want her to see me in a cage. I wrote her back and told her to forget me. Get herself a man as unlike me as possible.
It really don’t matter no more. I will not live my life in a cage. Big Dog runs us blacks in this place. He is big, I’ll give him that. We are in the yard … the whites are on the far side … the spics opposite. And us niggers have the middle ground.
I rush at Big Dog looking like I’m holding a shiv. I’m not. One of his lieutenants cuts me down before I can get close.
As I lie on the green grass of the prison yard, looking up at a blue sky that I’ll never see again—my warm blood pooling beneath me—I think of my girl and of all the wrong choices I’ve made in my twenty-three years of life. But that’s cool … there are no more choices that have to be made, unless you want to ask me how deep I want to be buried.
Just for the record, it’s six feet.
This book was recommended to me by a friend and I must admit that it’s not my usual kind of read. But I thought I’d give it a chance. Right off the bat, I had two favorite characters, Abby and Sam. The author drew me in with good writing, excellent pacing, and an antagonist that had me turning pages at an alarming rate. I had to find out what the dastardly villain would do next!
Our hero, Abby, has a lot to contend with. Her mother has died some time ago and her father has now disappeared. She is shipped off to a new town where she’ll have to start a whole new life. All this in the first few pages. But then her problems really begin.
My only regret is that I don’t have a young daughter to share this with. This is the perfect book for young girls, but so expertly written that even an old reprobate like myself can enjoy it.
One last thing, it wasn’t until I was well into the book that I started to pay attention to the haikus at the beginning of each chapter. I was too focused on the story. But once I did take the time to read them and realized their significance to the chapter that followed, I went back and read them all. What beautiful poetry indeed.
The Link: Amazon
I’ve had some harrowing tales to tell you folks in days gone by. There was the time I fought it out with an alligator. The time I defeated thirty pirates trying to board our boat in the middle of the night, and the time I met up with that poisonous toad; just to mention a few of my adventures. But they were naught compared to what I am about to convey. If not for my fortitude, my endurance, my character and my all around strength, I don’t know if I could have endured.
Hello, I am Danny the Dog, hero to all canines of the world, and a few females of the human persuasion. I live with my human on our boat in Fort Lauderdale Florida. His name is Andrew, and as you will soon see, he is the villain of this piece.
It all started on a warm and sunny autumn day (today). I wanted to go and visit my friend Beth who lives a few boats over. She is always so nice to me. Always puts out a bowl of water for me. Always finds something in the fridge to for me. The last time it was turkey. The time before that it was shrimp salad. The shrimp were good, I just spit out the lettuce and the other healthy stuff. But I digress, on with the horror.
I was sitting on the dock, giving reign over my domain. I had given my one bark command to Andrew to come up out of the boat and take me to Beth’s. I would have gone myself, but Andrew keeps me tethered with a leash, a rope in actuality. He is so cruel!
Well, Andrew came up alright, but I didn’t like the fact that he had dish soap in his hand. I think the brand name was Joy, but there was no joy in my heart when I saw it, for it could only portend one thing, BATH TIME!
I know that some dogs like water and that’s up to them. However, I am more sophisticated. If the Great Being wanted us dogs to fool around with water he would have given us gills to breathe through. And seeing as how He didn’t, I’ll keep my paws dry if you don’t mind. I mean if you humans had not shown up in the evolutionary scheme of things, how many baths do you think us dogs would have given ourselves over the course of a lifetime? Give up? Then I’ll tell you . . . zero, nada, none. We surely would have rolled in the carcass of a dead animal, but no baths. Thankfully, Andrew is a minimalist. He thinks as I do about baths, both for him and me. But every once in a while he bathes and then that means I have to also.
In a situation like I found myself in, it is important to show no fear. Humans can sense fear, so I stared at Andrew with a look that said, “One more step with that soap buddy, and I might just chomp down on your leg!” It did no good, onward he came. Onward came the soap.
Andrew took my harness off and said the biggest cliché in the world, “This going to hurt me a lot more than you.” It took all my will power not to bite him right then and there. Not trusting me, he kept a hold of my fur with one hand as he turned on the hose with the other. Then he wet me! Drenched me in aqua! I swear, if I didn’t depend on him for food, I would have bit him. It’s a good thing for Andrew I did not remember about Beth. She will always feed me. And Andrew might be missing a hand right about now.
So the indignity was complete. Then soap was administered to my being. I’ll forgo telling of the other ignominies I suffered. Let the record show that I am now a clean dog, albeit against my will.
As soon as I finish typing this, I have to hurry over to Beth’s. I’ve been invited for dinner and maybe a sleep over. Andrew wasn’t invited. He didn’t take a bath today.
Danny the Dog here with another tale of lust and depravity, oh wait, that’s Andrew’s bailiwick. Andrew, for the few of you who don’t know, is my human. My stories have to do with the finer things in life. Such as rolling on the grass, sniffing where another dog has peed and most important of all, hot dogs.
Today’s story has to do with an incident that took place almost ten years ago when I was just a pup, so to speak. What reminded me of it was something that happened this morning while I was walking Andrew.
It was still dark out, we were in the park, and I caught the scent of something vaguely familiar. I put my snoot to the ground and tried to search it out. Andrew stood there tapping his foot and saying, “Come on, let’s go,” over and over again. But as usual, I ignored him. Finally, I got a bead on the elusive scent. It was a toad. I found his hiding place and the little bugger hopped away with me in hot pursuit. Then I was almost yanked off my feet by Andrew as he pulled the leash, that damn insidious leash. Andrew said to me, “Haven’t you learned your lesson? The last time you caught one those, it cost me a lot money to save your life.”
Let me back up for a moment and explain something. Here in Florida, we have these toads, they have a special name, I think Andrew calls them Bufo toads. When they feel threatened, they secrete a poison on their backs and evidently, it can kill you.
A while back when we lived at another marina and I wasn’t on a leash 24/7, I had a run in with one of these toads. I liked that marina. Andrew and I were the only ones that lived there and because it was all fenced in, Andrew would let me roam around at night. It was six acres (whatever an acre is) and I had many adventures on those nights. Someday I’ll tell you about them. However, now it’s about the toad.
I had the run of the marina, and I was having a ball running and sniffing all over the place. Then this big toad had the temerity to jump out in front of me. Me, Danny the Dog! So I took out after him. It was a short race; he ended up in my mouth. I chewed on him for a minute or so, but then I spit him out. He didn’t taste too good. Seeing as how it was near the end of the night (I wasn’t allowed to run around during the day when the gates where open and people were around) I trotted on back to the boat and lay down on the dock to get some much needed rest. It had been a good night.
Andrew must have heard the jingling of my medals (that’s what he calls my tags) because he came up out of the boat. He took one look at me and raced for the hose. Now, you folks that know me know that I do not like water and my first impulse was to run. But I couldn’t move. Andrew later said that I was foaming at the mouth and he knew I had met up with a toad. He washed my mouth out as best he could and when he saw that I was paralyzed (his word); he picked me up and placed me on the front seat of the car.
It being a Sunday, my regular doctor was not around. Somehow, Andrew found a place. This was before he had a computer. I think he used what the ancients called a “telephone book.” Anyway, he carried me in and laid me on a table. A human in a white coat came over and consulted with Andrew. Even though I couldn’t move, I could still hear. The gist of the conversation was that the poison from the toad, among other things, dehydrated me. So a needle was stuck in me. If I could have moved, I would have bit the vet. We were there three hours and the whole time Andrew stroked my head and talked to me. Once I saw a single tear roll down his face.
As Andrew likes to tell it, $900.00 later, he carried me out of there.
In a day or so, I was my old self again, making Andrew’s life miserable and causing trouble. But I did let up bit because I remembered that single tear.
FREEDOM! At long last, I was free for a short while today. I’m Danny the Dog and I write about my adventures in these pages. For the neophytes in the crowd, I’ll explain that I live on a boat with my human (whose name is Andrew) in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. To set this story up correctly, I’ll have to go over some previously disclosed material.
Every morning I take Andrew for a walk, and when we return, he ties my leash to the dock. There is a bowl of water and the leash is twenty feet long, so I have no problem with that because I like sitting outside in the cool of the morning. To thank me for talking him for his walk, he gives me a hotdog every morning (yummy, my favorite!). And then he lets me sit outside until the sun comes fully up. And as an extra bonus, I get to bark at Duke and Little Guy, two dogs that live across the water on the other side of the marina. Can you believe this? Every morning they have the effrontery to come out of their boat and take their humans for a walk. In my marina!
Now on to the great escape.
Our routine is this: I’ll sit on the dock until I’m good and ready to go in. Then I’ll give my one bark command and Andrew will come out and unclip me from the leash. I then proceed to the back of the boat and go down the gangplank. It works for us, but this morning I had another idea. You see, on the way back to the boat, I had detected an enticing scent. It was some sort of human food. But Andrew would not let me get near it. And the day I can’t outsmart Andrew is the day I’ll turn in my membership card to the canine race.
What I did differently this morning was to smile at him when he unclipped me and then I lay down on the dock. I put my chin on my front paws; I looked so cute. It gets him every time. I looked like I wasn’t going anywhere. So Andrew told me he’d give me five more minutes, and then I had to come inside. His big mistake was in not re-attaching me to the leash. As soon as the door closed, I was outta there.
I headed right for the scent I had discovered earlier. What I found was scrumptious. I don’t know what it was, but it was delicious. Then I thought to myself, as long as I’m out and about, I might as well do a little exploring. First, I would go and visit my friend Beth. She always has a kind word for me, rubs my head, and best of all, she gives me a goodie. She must not have been on her boat because I did not see her. So next, I trotted a few boats up the dock to call on Lloyd. His treats aren’t as good as Beth’s, but he’s a good guy. He wasn’t home either. This was getting ridiculous! Where is a dog supposed to cadge a free treat? Then it hit me, Dave and Peggy’s. They live with Duke and Little Guy, so if I can let those two curs live in my marina; the least their humans can do is feed me. Maybe if I looked real cute and sad I could con them into giving me something special.
No dice, no one home. Then I heard it, the voice of doom. “DANNY! DANNY!” It was Andrew calling to me. I don’t know why he does that. I have never responded in any way, shape or form to his calling me in the entirety of our acquaintance.
I saw him before he saw me and ducked behind a car. I let him pass, still calling my name, and then I headed in the opposite direction. That was my mistake; I should have stayed hidden. Andrew turned and saw me and yelled very loud, “STAY!”
I don’t know what came over me, but for the first time in my life, I obeyed him. It must have been something in his voice. I think he was a little angry with me. And I was re-leashed up before I knew it.
Well, that’s the story of my career as an escapee. Andrew was a little ticked off with me, but after I sat through his lecture about running away, I still got half a hotdog when we got home. What a sucker he is.