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When Katie Wakes Connie May Fowler

When Katie Wakes

Connie May Fowler

Published
ISBN :
ebook
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 About the Book 

She is hiding under a blue tarpaulin. Her siblings, all tan and brown, run and hop, nipping at each other, uncaring whether I choose them or not. They have a good life. They live outside and have sticks to play with. If it rains, they seek shelterMoreShe is hiding under a blue tarpaulin. Her siblings, all tan and brown, run and hop, nipping at each other, uncaring whether I choose them or not. They have a good life. They live outside and have sticks to play with. If it rains, they seek shelter under the house. Shade is there, too. And so is Mama. Mama with all that milk. But shes drying up, and these long-boned, orange-grove Crackers know it. In fact, she doesnt look very healthy at all.Skin and bones and skin and bones. Where do you run to when youre nothing but skin and bones!The paper said you had black Lab puppies.He points at the tarpaulin. Shes over there.I look at the lone black pup and then back at the Cracker with his sky-colored eyes and sunburned face. Two barefoot boys, maybe three and five, chase the pups and giggle wildly each time they bait one into a game of tug.Their daddy is a Lab. That there is the mama. Shes a shepherd. We only got one black one.He smiles, as if her rarity in this litter makes her extra special, and I wonder two things. In the classified ad, why did they credit only the fathers bloodline? Especially since five of the six puppies bear no resemblance to their Labrador side. And why isnt the black puppy playing with her siblings? Is she sick? Hurt? An outcast based on color? Size? Temperament?Hey, sweetie, I say to her from across the yard.I approach slowly and kneel beside her. How are you, little bit? I ask, trying to make my voice comforting, as though a gentle nature is something all humans possess.A star-shaped patch of white gleams on her chest. Other than that, she is tip-to-toe black. I offer her my hand. She looks at me warily and then averts her gaze. I take her into my arms. At my touch, she tenses. I understand from both the cautious posture of her eyes and the rigid trembling of her body that this dog, just weeks old, knows about mistreatment. She begins to whimper. Low, baleful, constant.Its okay, baby, yes, everything is gonna be all right.I hear the Cracker say, Looks like a keeper to me! and he laughs loudly. Its a laugh made fat with good-ol-boy intentions.Has she seen a vet? I can see from her distended belly that shes wormy.Nah. I thought Id leave that up to whoever is lucky enough to take her home. Besides, seeings how we aint got room for no more dogs, were probably just gonna croakersack whichever ones are left past this weekend. Back in the creek, you know. He nods toward a slow-moving rivulet of brown water that flows at the edge of a cane-break, sucks his teeth, and then yells toward the house, Gracie, get me a beer. He looks at me. Slow. Up and down. You want one?I shake my head no, flushed with rage, unable to match his blatant gaze. I feel his violence. It is palpable in each tremor of this puppys underfed body.Shes mine. Im going to take her, I hear myself say as I ferry the dog to the car.The older of the two boys is stomping, yelling, Bye-bye! The pups are scattering out of his path. His brother snags one by the scruff and carries it through the dirt as if its a rag doll.The Cracker yells, You sure you want only one?Gracie st