Told from the perspective of a dog, this short story by Estelle Lee is about a whole lot more than just the day-to-day life of a beloved pooch.
By Estelle Lee
My name is Pax. I live with my Mum and Becca in a green-coloured house. I like to eat kibble and beans and broccoli and above all, things I’m not allowed to. I like greasy paper bags and chicken scraps. I steal them when my mum isn’t looking when we go outside. I go out and snatch them, and when she tries to snatch them back I tell her off. That’s one of the reasons I like to go outside. When it rains, I don’t go out even though I love the taste of the brown-flavoured paper and the white-flavoured chicken. When I was little I remember trying to walk to Becca, who was floating in a clear blue pool, and falling in. That was the day I learnt what water was. Becca saved me, but I was grumpy. She picked me up and dried me off and laughed, but even now, I still don’t like the wet. As long as I stay dry I am happy.
Now that’s all water under the bridge. Since then I have done lots of things. I went to school and did well. I came second place in a competition only by one or two seconds, so it doesn’t count. I basically came first. Since graduation, I’ve been enjoying my life. I am very social. My favourite hobby is gossip. I go outside in my garden and listen as hard as I can. When I hear someone yell far away, I like to yell back. When people walk by, I defend my home just in case they want to come in. My Mum says that I have a fearsome shout that scares away young children which I'm very proud of.
While I scare off potential intruders, I am really very friendly. I like to say hello to them every morning in the park. There is Albus who has big white fluffy hair, and Ollie, who is bald and wears jumpers. We talk a lot before our parents yank us away from each other. We are best friends.
While I have heaps of friends, I have one arch nemesis. Grey lives on the house diagonally from ours. He is awful. He is quiet and lives in his neat house with his quiet parents and their quiet baby. I am loud so we do not get along. Sometimes when I am shouting early in the morning or late at night Mr Grey walks over to my house. He tells me off in a stern voice, sometimes with a few very naughty words, and then talks to my Mum. He makes her roll her eyes when he leaves. Greyhound’s neatness annoys me the most. He is always freshly trimmed and his hair is never grotty or matted like mine. It’s not natural to be so clean.
On the other hand, I think I need a haircut more often. Often my hair will grow so long it covers my eyes and I can barely see anything at all. When that happens I like to run in circles very fast around my house. That way, my hair flies back with the wind and I can see again. When my hair is long, I get tangled in bushes and I have to bring gifts wrapped up in my fur which Becca cuts out for me. Becca hates the rain for a different reason, and not because she fell into a pool when she was little like me. She hates the rain because she has to brush out my matted hair and wipe down my muddy feet after a rain shower. I pretend to hate my hair brushes, but I secretly wait for her to sit down with me and brush out my tangles. I wonder what Becca used to do before she brushed my hair in the evenings.
When I was very young, Becca seemed quite old. As I've gotten older, she's stayed almost the same except for her growing a bit taller. Sometimes Becca comes to me and she is sad. Her eyes get watery and big drops fall onto her face like rain. Sometimes she worries about school, or her friends, or our family. Sometimes, she worries about me. When she worries about me, she asks me what she will do without me? I tell her that she shouldn’t talk about things like that. She is still sad after. She thinks I haven't noticed that I'm getting older faster than she is. I know I won't be here forever, but I will always be by her side. I can't control how long I live, but I can control what I do. I want to make her happy and see her sunny smile every day.
After I go, I don’t know what I will do or where I will go. I do know there will be no more Mum, no more Becca and no more green-coloured house. I know that Becca will rain for a long long time when that happens. I hate the rain but it is a small mercy that I won’t be there to see it. I will be there for the last day of hot sun.
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