|A Tale Of Shep
© Copyright 2002 by Dan Berkey
Some neighbors of ours in Saint Louis Park, Minnesota, the Marengo’s, had a son named Tom who let me shoot his bb gun. he never became a close friend though because he was in high school, and I was only ten. He wanted to hang out with guys his own age. That was ok, i guess. After all, he’d let me shoot his gun, and I liked his sister, Jen. We played together a lot, not like you might think. We swung each other in my dad’s hammock that was set up in our backyard between two huge Oak Trees every day when it was nice. We never actually ended up in the hammock together, which was fine. I didn’t want to; neither did she. The thought of it was too icky. I hung out with all the neighborhood girls because there were no guys around, and I always thought that was weird. The girls were all older than me, and they pretended to be my sisters. They often fought amongst themselves over who was going to be the big sister. It made me laugh. Sometimes it made me uncomfortable, but only occasionally. I actually got a kind of a kick out of it. They made me feel important in a way I never felt at home with my dad and mom. I felt kind of empty around them like I’d been eaten up or something. I know that sounds weird, but that’s what it felt like. The girls were all good buddies. They made me cupcakes. I ate all of them, and I got kind of fat.
The Marengo’s had a big German Shepherd named Shep. She was the sweetest Shepherd I‘ve ever known, never mean or feisty. She ran away from fights. It’s true. I saw it happen once. She could’ve whipped this loud little dog that backed her against the house once. I saw it from across the street, and it made me real angry, but before I got there to help her out the little dog fled. I guess it got bored or something because Shep didn’t want to fight. Just as well. I loved that dog. I didn’t have one of my own yet, so I spent a lot of time with her. She was really Tom’s dog, but since he was gone all the time with his buddies from High School the Marengo’s were glad to have me around.
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