Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Legend of Poopfoot

Once upon a time, a poor dear walked the dog with the crocodile teeth to the veterinarian for eyes drops. The dog spent afternoons in the shade of an elm with a hunter's wary stance, eyes shaded and teeth glinting. Bounding to sharply renounce any who dared to venture past its domain, especially those riding two-wheeled contraptions. Asleep in a swath of sunshine, its counterpart, snub-nosed and gassy, held court with bugs and could lose an afternoon following a leggy spider on its way between fences. The girl, worried about the dog with the crocodile teeth, outfitted it with a gentle leader, as it was prone to yank her arms out with glee on walks, and shut the snub-nosed dog inside the house to wait.

Gentle light sunned the sidewalks as the poor dear and the dog with the crocodile teeth mazed their way across streets, through alleys and a gravel footpath, turning finally into the veterinary office's smoothly paved drive. The dog with the crocodile teeth was ashamed to find it had gained four pounds since February, and even more ashamed about the ugly pink eye infection festering. The girl and doctor discussed the dog with the crocodile teeth in depth, specifically about its diarrhea problem for the past two days. She was tired of scrubbing soil off the carpet, tired of lighting candles to clear the foul air. But there was no temperature or change in behavior to suggest a medical intervention was necessary. Patting it reassuringly, the girl purchased eye drops and an itch-stopping shampoo for the bug-infested grass that flanked the sidewalks here. The dog with the crocodile teeth felt excited about the shampoo and wagged its tail to signal the girl. She patted it again, slipped the lead over its pointed nose, and the pair walked briskly home.

Snub-nose awaited their return with lips squished unflatteringly against its teeth, its whole face pressed into the glass. Its eyes bulged with happiness when the door opened and a stub of tail waggled in welcome. The girl bent to let the snub-nose dog sniff and lick her cheek before running triumphantly around her legs. It left the dog with the crocodile teeth alone, sensing an air of defeat in the way the sharp incisors were entirely covered, nose down, eyes shining with medicine-scented tears.

The house smelled irritably like poop. Both dogs watched the girl sniff the air, scowl, and sniff again. It was a game to follow her as she walked room to room, stopping and sniffing, sometimes peering behind furniture. The poor dear sighed. The day had been difficult, tiring and long, and now, too, stinky. It was unappetizing, but her stomach was begging loudly. So the poor dear made a sandwich, relit the berry-scented candle, and snuggled into the couch with a library book. She read two pages before realizing she needed some water. Getting up to find a glass, her foot slipped, skidded up on something squishable with texture unseen in the brown swatch of carpet. The poor dear grabbed the coffee table for balance, righted herself, looked at the offending foot. Squeezed between her toes and stuck to her sole was poop. "Ew!" she squealed and began to hop, one-footed, to the door.

Outside the dogs could hear water running from the hose. Ten minutes later the girl returned with clouded eyes, cleaned the smeary poo lumps with wet paper towels and masked the scent with lavender spray. They were saddened when she threw away her sandwich, and then they were asked in a polite but strained voice to go outdoors. Agreeably they went out and did not see the girl again for several hours.

Snub-nose hoped that Poopfoot had learned her lesson.

1 comment:

Myntha said...

Ah, the one-footed poop hop. I know it well.