An Encounter with Oreo

An Essay By j. Glen pollard // 3/21/2014

Chad Jones: the Bad

I sit on the porch swing, my back, as curved as a boomerang. I can watch the road and everything that past my home if you can even call it a home.

The cold November wind flies past me, cutting my cheeks with its claws of ice, and so I quickly zip up my hoodie. I hate wearing my hoodie, I hate having to leave my room because Mom and her boyfriend are arguing on the phone.

I hate life.

My phone buzzes, which I take out and unlock the screen. It’s Becca.

The text says: hey Chad, I just wanted you to know that I won’t be able to make it today. Xtra
homework and stuff. Sorry.
-xoxox. Check out my blog you guys!

I shut off the screen, my fist crushing the phone so hard that the buttons are digging into my fingers. I can feel my face turning red hot fire and my breathing growing stiffer and stiffer.

“I hate her stickin’ signature…” I mutter. We were supposed to meet up for our History assignment but now Miss “Straight As” doesn’t want to hang with the new kid.
I moved to Columbus with my Mom and sister after my Dad died in a boating accident in Maine. She got a job being a teacher at the Agora Missions, working with little kids. I, being fourteen, was sent to a High School where I was thought of as the new kid. I got accepted into Computer Club and on the basketball team─as the waterboy. But the greatest thing that happened was when I got a real friend: Becca. But now, after she stopped by my place without my knowing a couple of days ago, she’s been very distant. Suddenly, the whole school heard about the new kid who was “temporarily” living in a trailer-park. How strange!

“Figures. Nobody wants to hang out with the new kid.”

I sit far back on the swing’s back, feeling the metal pick at my back. The sun’s about to set and its only 5:38. I can just make out a small black thing moving closer to our trailer. It looks like a skunk except it has no tail and it’s ears are bigger. It continues to move closer and I realize that it’s a dog, a small dog, probably a toy poodle. It looks like a boy but I can’t tell in the twilight. It’s black with a small patch of silver-white on its belly. Kind of reminds me of an Oreo cookie.

The dog is right at the steps that lead to the porch. He puts his two front paws on the steel steps, and looks at me with sad eyes. He looks sort of hungry, but I can’t give him food.

“Get out of here, dog,” I yell. He doesn’t move, in fact he comes closer. “I said get out of here!” I say louder. The dog still climbs one more step. Maybe he’s deaf? But if so, why did he almost shrink when I yelled at him the first time?

“Listen, mutt, I’ll give you some of our trash if you can just leave me alone, okay?” the dog doesn’t move just stands there, looking at me, questioning me. I walk down the steps and he moves out of the way. I open the garbage bag that I had just put out and take out the remainings of salmon that my little sister Donte didn’t eat. She hates salmon.

I throw it on the ground near the dog, who gobbles the fish down like it was his first meal in days. For the first time, I really, closely study him. His fur is a little mangled, but not too much. His hair is pretty short for him to be a tramp. He must have run away from some rich folks that pampered him like a baby.
For some reason I suddenly hate the dog. Here he is, away from his happy rich home when I’d switch with him in a heartbeat. Now all I want to do is send him off with a good kick in the ribs. I would do so if our animal loving neighbors, the Swansons, weren’t cooking their vegetarian soup with their window open.

Right now, I just shout at him, telling him to scat, that he’s not wanted here. He sits there, his sad eyes looking at me, almost in pity. Then he gets up and trots away, his small stub of a tail bobbing behind.

Sam Pine: the Good

SAM lay on the ground, tired and sad. Tears were coming from his eyes, rolling to the sides of his head and onto the grass of the soccer field.

His day had been the worst. First, his math homework went missing. Next, he had to eat breakfast without a spoon. And it was really hard trying to put Honey Nut-Cheerios inside your mouth with a fork.
Then at school, he flunked on a science test with a C-. At lunch he was a dollar short for anything and had to go on the rest of the day without food. And then he didn’t make the soccer team, after he practiced weeks.

And so then and there, he lay on the park’s soccer field, crying his heart out, wishing for something to make this day grow better. Sam took a moment to close his eyes and pray for someone-anyone-to cheer him up and help him with his problem.

“God, will you help me, please? I’ve really had a hard day. Could… would you make this day better? Thanks God.”

Sam let his eyes close for several more minutes and then for a little more until he was asleep. When he woke, his face was wet. Great, I drooled on myself in my sleep. Yuck! But when the drool smelled as if he’d burp a couple of trash cans, Sam knew something was wrong. He sat up and saw a small little black and gray toy poodle licking his arm. Sam smiled and picked it up, laying the dog in his lap.

“Hey boy, where’ve ya’ been? Are you lost.” He seemed to be. No leash, no collar, no tag.

Nothing.

The dog sat up on Sam’s lap, whined a little and then licked his chin. Suddenly, Sam was swept with happiness because this dog loved him. Then, Sam realized that his prayer had been answered. This was the first time he’d smile that whole day and this small dog that was lying on his lap had done it all.

“Thank you, God,” Sam said quietly. He checked his watch, which read 4:32pm. “Oh man, I gotta’ go!” he exclaimed. Sam quickly got up, put the dog down on the grass, got his bike and headed home.
When he got back to his house, waiting for him were his mom, dad and a small box on the kitchen’s island. On it said MAINE, which was surprising.

“What’s this, Mom?” Sam asked.

Sam’s Mom smiled. “It’s a little something from Grandpa Pine’s farm.”

“What?” Sam asked with excitement.

“Open it, Son,” Mr. Pine said. Sam did and found a small golden Labrador hiding inside with a small batch of hay. Sam’s eyes danced with delight.

“Oh thanks, guys, thanks!” Sam cried with joy. He grasped his parents in a tight bear-hug. Wow, first God sends me a poodle to cheer me up, and then He’s given me a dog!

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