Barking dog – A short story, adopted from the book ‘The ORIGINAL JAMAICAN Patois: Words, Phrases and Short Stories’

Alton Daley was eleven years old when his family moved to the other end of his parish, causing him to change schools. He was shy and did not make friends right away. The school-bully was a twelve year old named Lad Wilson. Lad was big for his age, as he was the same size as some fifteen year olds. He immediately noticed Al’s shyness and started to pick on him. Every school day Lad ate Al’s lunch and threatened to beat him up if he mentioned it to anyone.

After a few weeks, Al found out that a boy named Pete from another class was also new to the school and was also the victim of the bully. The two new-comers stuck together every chance they had, and for a while that kept the bully away.

Al and Pete were very surprised one day when they were called into the principal’s office. As they entered the office they saw Lad standing in a corner. He had tears running down his face and his clothes were muddy.

“Al Daley and Peter Brown,” the principal said. “As of today you are both being suspended from your classes for two days. Lad had reported that you two boys jumped him. This type of behavior will not be accepted in this school, and if it happens again I will have no choice but to bar both of you from ever attending this school, or any other in this parish.”

The boys did not have a chance to defend themselves as the Principal ushered them straightway out the door. He gave them notes to deliver to their parents. Al told his parents that Lad had lied because he and Pete were always together so that he couldn’t pick on them. His parents believed him, because they knew that he always tell the truth, but blamed him for not reporting the first incident to them. They went with Al to see the principal and the suspension was reduced to one day.

For the next three years Lad pestered both Al and Pete, but he picked on them separately, and when no one was watching. Because of age limitations, at fifteen Lad had to leave school. Al and Pete decided that they would meet him on the street and get their revenge since the principal no longer could protect him. It was in the summer when all three met on a lonely part of country road. The two younger boys attempted to carry out their plan, which resulted in Lad beating both of them bloody.

Their parents took them to the police station, and made a report, and then to the health clinic to have their cuts and bruises attended to. The police searched for Lad, but he managed to evade them, and the next morning he got on an out-of-town bus, never to return.

The following year both Al and Pete started high school in different areas, but they remained close friends. Whenever they met, their conversations would always include reminisces of the bad experiences with Lad. They desperately wanted revenge, but to begin with, they did not know where he was, and even if they could find him, he was, and would always be physically bigger than they were, or hoped to be.

Both boys graduated from high school and Pete immediately entered Seminary saying that was the only way he could forgive Lad.  Al joined the Police Force, but his parents were very disappointed because they wanted him to become an attorney. He was very adamant about his decision saying that he would see the criminals before the lawyer does. His real reason was to use his police influence to find Lad.

Within six months of graduating from the Police Academy, Al had worked on different shifts at different stations all around Kingston. The work was very dangerous and demanding, and for a while he had forgotten the real reason he joined the Force. As a rookie cop he was mostly assigned to the graveyard shift in the most dangerous parts of the city.

One night, Al and his partner were on foot-patrol when they spotted some men utilizing the lights at a shop piazza to gamble. Both policemen rushed the group. They all ran in different directions, but Al and his partner were able to catch up with one. The gambler fell to his knees and begged for mercy. The sound of his voice and his giant-like statue made Al realize that the man was his long time nemeses. He whispered to his partner that he knew the man, but the man did not recognize him, so he was going to play some tricks on him.

“Dis time a night,” Al said, holding his baton over the kneeling man’s head. “Only police, street-sweepas an dawgs soppose to be on de street. It obvious dat yu not a police. Yu knaa wear unifaam. Yu not a street-sweepa. Yu noh ha noh broom, so yu must be a dawg. Declare yu self.”

“This time of the night only police, street-sweepers and dogs are supposed to be on the street. It is obvious that you are not a police, because you are not wearing uniform. You are not a street-sweeper. You have no broom, so you must be a dog. Declare yourself.”

“Mi a dawg sah, mi a dawg,” answered the man.

“I am a dog sir, I am a dog.”

“Well since yu a dawg, let mi hear yu bawk,” said Al’s partner.

“Well since you are a dog, let me hear you bark.”

The gambler began to bark Har,har, har.

“Wha kine a dawg bawk like dat?” asked Al.

“What kind of dog bark like that”

“A mongrel sah,” he answered.

“A mongrel sir.”

“A mongrel? Gi mi a pitbull bawk,” said Al.

“A mongrel? Give me a Pitbull bark.”

The gambler barked, ‘Wow, wow, wow’ like a Pitbull dog.

“Now gi mi a German shepherd bark”.

“Now, give me a German Shepherd bark.”

The man barked, ‘Wuff, wuff, wuff’ like a German shepherd dog, and on and on it went until neither police knew of any more kinds of dogs for the man to imitate. They told him to crawl on all four and to pretend that he was trying to catch his tail with his mouth. They had the laugh of their lives. Finally, at about four o’clock they cuffed him and took him to jail.

Al’s shift ended at eight that morning, but before he left the station he went to the jail cell and revealed himself to Lad, and made him a deal to drop the charges if he would go the elementary school in the area with him to tell of his ordeal so that school bullies could learn not to victimize other children.

Note: Beware of what you dish out.


About the Author
Laxleyval Sagasta is a freelance mixed genre writer from Jamaica. His books are on sale at leading booksellers; online and in stores. Like him on fb. Laxleyval Sagasta or Laxleyval LLC. Visit his page SAGASTABOOKS.COM. Join his book club and receive free books. Contact by Email [email protected]