OLD BILLY…BY OSALAM WOSU (short story) 

My name is Billy, and let me tell you tale about me. I was an infamous mutt in the village for everything but strength. I was weak and frail, a consequence of an accident I sustained in my younger days. This led to a new name -Old Billy (which I obviously hated so much). It was used by my owners and every other person when making derogatory remarks about me. However one incident stands out in my not-so-heroic life. It was the day I confronted a vile beast. 

     It all began one summer’s night, as I lay by my kennel in the backyard. I had grown fond of crawling out of the tattered old thing which was lacking maintenance ever since my owners realised I wasn’t worth it. This particular night was chilly so I started pacing the backyard, looking for the spot where I had hidden a long lost treasure. With my nose down to the earth, sniffing I was able to locate the spot and gleefully I started digging. Then all of a sudden a sudden whoosh of wind and cackle of branches drew my attention to a nearby shrub. I was startled but tried to summon up courage to fish out the cause of the ruckus. This after all was my chance to prove to all that I could at least do something of importance. 

     Stealthily I moved towards the shrubs, with tail outstretched upwards like and antenna searching for a signal. As I bent to sniff, out of nowhere popped a humongous creature with fangs as large as daggers and claws that gleamed in the moonlight. It took a swipe at me tearing my face with a single swing and then with one majestic leap it jumped up to our fence and disappeared amongst the trees. I had no option but to bark out as a warning for the owners of the house to beware of this vile beast. When at last I was heard, they came out to see nothing but a crazy dog barking at a shrub, and carrying a scarred face.  I was laughed at and locked out. 

     Days passed, and each day I would see a figure leaping across the trees in the backyard,  but I dared not indulge for the fear of being ravaged again. This however I held up until one fateful day when the rains had destroyed the fence and I happened to hear a struggle in a corner of the yard.  I barked as loudly as I could in a futile attempt to scare it away. Then all of a sudden I found myself pursuing after the creature, more out of curiosity than bravery. When it started to run, I knew I could give it a fight at least, maybe I could die fighting such a beast and I’d get a little praise, even though in death.  

     I gave chase, pursuing it through plants and shrubs and over fences. I had no idea what I was pursuing or where it was headed, but I kept chasing. It ran into an old kennel that used to house one of my old friends, Jackie,  the neighbor’s dog.  As I prepared to pounce, I felt a sharp pain in my side. The neighbor, Mr Phil,  had kicked me with his miner’s  boots on in the side and I collapsed to the ground. On seeing I had been destabilized, he then reached out to grab the beast in the kennel.  I could only look up,  but I saw that a dozen men were present, all in miner’s boots. It then occurred to me that they had been following my little foray. I couldn’t understand why I had been punished for being a good dog or why my master, who was present was fuming at me.  That was until Mr Phil emerged from the kennel with the vile beast that had so haunted me, with its dagger-like claws and fangs, he unveiled a little cat!. 

Maybe they weren’t wrong after all. I was utterly useless and this performance capped it all off.

©2017 2edged pen

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