A Junkyard Dog General: The Bear and the Puppies
Running from Dogs
The bear bolted out of the woods into a clearing running as fast as it could from gunfire and angry humans as well as five dogs. The bear didn’t fear dogs or humans by themselves, but together they brought back a memory that was buried deep in its past. He remembers seeing his mother die by the hands and weapons of humans while dogs chased him down. Humans used dogs for hunting his kind, and he hated them for it, for taking part in killing other animals. He kept away from humanity to live a life alone, apart from his kind living on trash. Now he was on the run again.
A day or so ago, a dog came out of the woods colliding into him at a time when he was hungry and angry. The deer had killed off most of the humans, and he could see a time when the trash he lived on went away. Most of all, he hated the nasty biting yapping dog things. The dog didn’t see him, and he would regret not looking ahead. The bear grabbed the dog, and in a move so quick, even he didn’t know what he was doing, he had bent the dog in half, breaking its back and opening its guts. The smell of the blood made him hungry. It also reminded him of a time when a pack of wolves had killed a pair of new-born cubs while the mother chased another wolf away. In his mind eating puppies would be justified. Without thinking, he started to eat the dog’s liver.
As he did, a few more dogs came out of the woods seeing him and the remains of the dog. The bear looked at the dogs, and he thought he could smell something different. He didn’t know why, but he knew the small white dog was having puppies, and he wanted revenge. The dogs took off running. The biggest of the dogs picked up the smallest, and they disappeared into the woods. He wanted to chase them and have his fill of dog meat and, most of all, puppies. The bear saw the way the dogs were going and knew how to get ahead of them. It helped that the dogs would take more than a few breaks. He wanted to stop the dogs before they could find humans and hunt him. After some running, the bear got ahead of them. He hid under an old dead tree and waited for them to come to him.
Something jumped on the dead tree, and before he could do anything, a dog was on him, biting him in the face trying to take out his eyes. The snapping biting dog was the same type as the dog he ate and was most likely its kin. The dog was fast, but the bear was tall and strong. He stood and tossed the dog away from him. The dog turned and started to snap at him as the other dog did back when he ran for his life away from his dying mother. Two more dogs joined it. He knew he could kill all of them quickly. He said, “silly little dog things, tonight I dine on puppies.” The big dog asked, “did he just speak?”
The Bear backed away a little. A dog just said something he could understand, and it seemed like they understood him. He asked, “what did you say……. How can simple little dog things understand me?” Another dog said, “what does that matter……. You aren’t eating the puppies.” The bear stood showing its size and said, “no, no little dog things gets to tell me what I can or can’t do.” He dropped down with a force that seemed to shake the ground and let off a menacing roar that echoed for miles. The big dog asked, “Is this happening?” The three dogs went into an attack posture as the bear prepared to kill them. The other dog said, “Dot get ready to run and don’t look back.” A strange animal came running at him. The bear said, “what are you little yapping thing?” He tried to catch it, but the small dog was just too fast. A shot rang out, then another. Four humans came running over the hill, one with a gun. The bear turned and ran.
He ran for miles trying to get away from the humans and their dogs. As the sun started to set, he came upon what would have been a wonderland to him; he found a landfill. The smell of garbage, the first sighting of rats, and other easily killed and eaten animals made him think he had died and gone to whatever was next. The human had shot at him, but it had missed. A few deer ran by, but they stayed away from him. The deer followed the voice and its directive to kill humans. Some of the deer were dying, and like the other trash, they too would be food. This would be his territory, and any other animal would either bow to him or become his food. As he walked around, he heard a strange sound and smelled something he knew he wanted…...puppies.
Behind a wall in a large box, he found an injured dog and her puppies. She had a bad wound to her gut and was most likely going to die; the puppies were older but still too young to be on their own. He could eat the puppies as the mother dog watched, or he could kill the mother letting the puppies watch. Thinking about it made him think about his mother and how she died. He looked at the puppies and saw something helpless. The mother was more worried about her puppies than herself. The dog growled, trying to look menacing while looking closer to death. The bear looked to a dead deer and thought about giving them one last meal before killing them. He came back with a leg from a deer he found and set it near the dogs in the box. The dog looked at him, then her puppies.
A week later, the bear sat on top of an old van watching over his territory and the puppies. His plans to eat the puppies ended when the mother died, and they looked to him. His hatred for the nasty snapping dog things went away with the first time they slept in a bear-dog pile with the puppies not showing any fear or hate for him. By the end of the week, he knew he could never eat puppies. He knew his understanding of the world was growing every day, and his base hatred and fear was diminishing. He carried the mother off and buried her like the humans did, leaving a marker to note where she was. He had his kingdom, and now he had someone to care about, and somehow, it turned out to be dogs. Together, the bear and the puppies were stronger.
- A Junkyard Dog General, Story Five: The Bear
Rex and the others are being stalked by a bear wanting to end dog kind and a dog looking for his place at the end of the world.
© 2019 Michael Collins aka Lakemoron