I had been playing at the base of the maple tree with my back to our house, building something – I don’t remember what – from twigs and branches. Snapples rested her head on her forepaws next to me, watching me, her curiosity visible in her pinched brow and restless eyes, following my movements as I snapped a twig or wrestled with an unruly branch.
The next moment her ears straightened as she lifted her head and a low moan escaped from deep within her throat as she glared at something behind me. The hair on her back shot up stiff and spiky, bristling. I was slow to react, but not Snapples. She moved in a blur past me. By the time I turned she had already seized the snake in her jaws, rippling and shaking it as the snake coiled itself around her neck and front legs, it’s scaly body writhing and contracting. But Snapples didn’t let go. It seemed to only fuel her frenzied attack.
I saw blood streaming from her left eye then.
Bullies and Soggy Soup Bones by Woelf Dietrich is an enjoyable little story that speaks of personal esteem and courage. It is about bullying, but honestly, what I enjoyed the most was the relationship between the boy and the dog, a relation that sounded authentic and ripe of meaningful experiences. It’s also what really moved me of this story.
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