The Wet Dog

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 10th grade November 2001

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The moon splashed its light around the small dirt yard revealing neglect and hard times. Six riders sat their horses just in front of the small, weather-worn cabin. A tall, rail thin man stood there in the moonlit yard, together with two small girls and a gangling black-haired youth whose face was a mirror of the older man. It was his birthday. One he'd never forget. Young Travis Becker would never forget April 21, 1855. To some, it was the day he turned sixteen. He knew it was the day he quit being a boy.

The riders waited patiently while the tall man spoke. "And for the last time, you tell Mr. Giles that these kids will stay with me. I'm their daddy. It don't matter to me what he thinks. Betty is gone and I loved her, but the good Lord saw fit to take her. It isn't for Mr.

Giles to raise these kids. It's for me." One of the riders, a lean man with a hawkish visage spat in the dirt beside his horse and said, "Tom, we come for the kids. Buckboard will be here in a bit and we aim to carry them kids back with us. After all, Betty was the old man's only kid and I reckon he has a right to want her offspring to have the best." Becker laughed bitterly. "He cared so much for her and the kids that he ignored me when I asked for help and told him she was sick. And that's why he never brought food nor helped her or the kids all these years." Kale nodded grimly, then said, "It weren't so much that he didn't care for her and the kids, Tom. He just never cottened to some two-bit puncher like you comin' along...

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