Orphan Survival Stories Index |
THAT OLD BLACK DOG
Once upon a time in my life, way up on a great big hill, there lived a really old farmer. That old man didn't have any cows, horses, pigs or chickens. In fact, that old farmer didn't even have an old farm wife to help take care of him. Everyone around town knew that old guy was a very mean person. He was so mean that he could hardly wait for the rain to stop so he could run outside and chase all the birds away that were coming out to sing and eat grain on his farm. That is just how mean this old farmer really was.
One day, the farmer came walking out of his run-down old barn when he saw a big old black dog; it was hunkered down and coming slowly toward him. The farmer immediately started yelling and screaming at the dog, trying to run her off. The dog put her head down on the ground and started shaking - just knowing the old farmer was going to kick her in the side. When the old man got up to the old dog, she all of a sudden jumped up on him and started licking him all over his face. The old farmer yelled really loud and started running as fast as he could toward his big white farmhouse. That old black dog was just a-chasing him all the way back to his front porch steps, where she stopped, sat down and started wagging her tail.
About a minute later, the old farmer came running back out of his house, shotgun in hand and walked directly toward the old black dog, which was now lying on the ground. That old dog just sat straight up, right where she was and looked at him. When the farmer got over to her, he pointed the shotgun right between her eyes, cocked the hammer back and stood there looking down the long, black barrel of his gun. The old black dog hung her head and then rolled slowly over onto her side.
"Well, I'll be darned. The bitch has only got three legs,” said the old farmer. "I ain't gonna shoot you right here cause it’ll be too big of a mess."
He lowered his shotgun, reached down and grabbed the scared old female dog by the back of the neck and dragged her on her side all the way to his pick-up truck. The old dog was just a-crying and a-whining the whole time. However, that did not matter to that mean old farmer. He just took the old black dog and flung her as hard as he could into the back of his old run down pick-up. Then he hit her in the rump a couple of times with the butt of his shotgun, until she lied down. He jumped in the truck and headed as fast as he could down the long, winding dirt road toward the woods.
Faster and faster, the old farmer drove just a-talking and cursing aloud the entire time. That beat up old truck was a-slipping and a-sliding all over the wet dirt road, first sliding this a-way and then sliding that a-way. Then all of a sudden, the truck slid sideways, ran completely off the road, hit the ditch and began rolling over and over. Bushes, leaves, dirt and all kinds of stuff flung everywhere. Finally, everything became very still and quiet, except for some dust and the crackle of a small fire that was coming out from underneath the old pick-up truck.
"Help me. Help me,” yelled the old farmer, but nobody was there.
As the farmer looked up, he could see that old black dog walking very slowly toward him. Her ear was torn, bloody and hanging by a thread of skin. She was cut very badly on her nose and limping as three-legged dogs do.
"Help me,” yelled the old man again as he looked at the dog.
When the old dog got up to the old man, who was now pinned underneath the pick-up truck with the fire not far from him, the old dog began licking him in the face. Then the farmer just fell limp and lay there quietly. Soon the fire spread out into the woods and the old black dog finally ran away from the farmer, heading away from the fire.
"Please, somebody help me," yelled the old farmer.
But there was nobody to help him, not even that old black dog that had now run away in order to save herself. Once again, the old man was alone, just like he had been for the past 30 years on his farm. The fire was getting hotter and hotter, and closer and closer. The old man finally lied his head back down into the dirt, softly cursing, crying to himself and trying to fling a little dirt with his fingers onto the fire. His hands were burnt and dirty, and his overalls were singed and smoking. Finally, he gave up, gave one last cough and slowly lowered his face into the dirt and ash.
All of a sudden, he heard voices coming from the road behind him. Very slowly, he raised his blackened face and looked back toward the road as best he could, since he was upside down. There came that old black dog hobbling as fast as she could toward him. Behind that dog were five or six people running toward the burning truck.
I really do not know much about what happened after that. I moved away several days later because my small clothing store in Brunswick, Georgia was broken into so many times that I had to shut it down. I finally returned to the Hazlehurst area where my distributor was located, after being gone for three years. I decided to stop at the local diner for a cup of coffee. As I sat there quietly looking out the window, I noticed a burnt, old black pick-up truck with its side caved in sitting across the street at the local feed store. Two young boys were loading bales of hay into the back. I looked down the long, wooden loading ramp and saw three or four old, weather beaten rocking chairs.
Moreover to my surprise, I saw a one-legged, laughing, old farmer, his crutches leaning against the wall, hugging this three-legged, one-eared, dirty and old black dog. She was licking him in the face, as though she liked him!