The Big Black Dog: A Fable

Cane Corso Dog 3A little old lady built a chicken coop in her backyard. She painted it red, and in the evening, when the paint was dry, she went to see a farmer and bought twelve hens and a rooster.

After loading the chickens into the back seat of her car, she drove down the highway, and they all flew into the front seat! It was like a tornado!

When the little old lady got home, she put the chickens in the coop, closed the door, and locked it with a hook.

“What a long day!” she said.

She felt so tired, she went straight to bed.

The next morning, the little old lady collected the eggs that the hens laid in the nesting boxes.

She fried two eggs for breakfast, and the rest, she put in a carton. “When I have a dozen,” she said, “I’ll sell them to my neighbour.”

The following day, when the little old lady delivered the eggs, her neighbor wanted to give her a dog: a poodle with white, curly hair. “I don’t have time to take care of him,” he said.

But the little old lady didn’t know if she wanted a dog.

The poodle promised, “I’ll stand guard each night and protect your chickens.”

The little old lady smiled. “You’re a good poodle—and brave.”

Then she took the poodle home with her.

A week went by without incident, but early one morning, the chickens were frantic. The hens were clucking outside the coop, and the rooster was crowing on the roof.

The little old lady counted them, and one hen was missing!

“What happened to my hen?” she asked the poodle.

“I slept with one eye open,” the poodle replied, “but I saw nothing, and I heard nothing.”

A hen named Martha was hysterical. “A large paw opened the door and grabbed Bertha. It was a big black dog!”

Then Martha fainted.

The poodle shook his head. “Dogs are kind and caring animals, and would never hurt a chicken.”

The little old lady agreed: “Yes. It must have been a fox.”

In the afternoon, she put a chicken-wire fence around the coop. And before she went to bed, she closed the coop door, and locked it with a hook.

The next morning, when the sun came up, the chickens were in a frenzy, running and flying around the yard.

The little old lady went to the coop and counted them, and another hen was missing!

“Did you watch the hens last night?” she asked the poodle.

“I saw a fox jump over the fence,” the poodle confessed, “but I was so afraid I couldn’t even bark.”

The rooster, named Roger, said sadly, “I was awake when its paw reached inside. It was a big black dog, and he stole Henrietta—the chicken I loved.”

The poodle shook his head. “Dogs are friendly and loving animals. They would never hurt a chicken.”

The little old lady knew what to do. That night, she closed the coop door and locked it with two hooks. Then she went to her bedroom, turned out the light, and sat by the window.

At midnight, when the moon hid behind a cloud, she saw a black figure climbing over the chicken-wire fence.

It made its way to the coop and slowly lifted one of the hooks with its paw.

With her heart pounding and hands trembling, the little old lady grabbed her broom, ran outside and threw open the gate.

The creature had a hen in its mouth. BAM! She hit it on the head until it let go of the hen.

It was the poodle!

The little old lady grabbed him by the collar and yelled, “You killed two of my chickens! Why?!”

The poodle answered weakly, “Because I’m a dog.”

The next morning, the little old lady was in a much better mood.

She fed the poodle as many eggs as he wanted for breakfast. Then she put on his leash and took him for a walk.

And gave him back to her neighbour.


This story was published in The Donkey King and Other Stories

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5 thoughts on “The Big Black Dog: A Fable

  1. Good story, with a lot of truth in it. Believe me. My dog was the cutest, friendliest little dog. A friend kept him when I was away, and one day he found a way through the chicken fence. He and the chickens were more or less the same size. He managed to kill five before a well directed kick from my friend made him fly and saved the sixt hen. So…

    Liked by 1 person

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