Sinbad and Fester

[Bear with me here.  This happened a couple of days ago.  If I recall…]

“Hey Espie!”

“Yo, Clutch! What’d you need?”

“What’s all this ‘riot’ stuff?”

“You know about that?”

“Pierre, you know?  The poodle?  The smart one?  Watches news with his people.  Says some dumb stuff is happening.”

“He’s right.”

“What’s it about?”

“A lot of things.”

“Come on, Espie! What things?”

“Equality. Gender. Color. Respect. Violence…”


“Among other things.  Where you’re from, what you like and don’t like.  Who’s your god…”

“You humans carry a lot of baggage.  But this ‘color’ thing.  What’s that?”

“Black, white, brown…”

“Got that.  But it’s stupid. Color. Almost understand smell.  Some smell different than others.”


“No, different. Not better. Different. “

“Don’t understand, Clutch.”

“Variety.  Take smell for example.  There’s a Collie over by the…”

“You know I can’t follow that.  Weak nose, remember…”

“Oh, yeah.  Then let’s take color. You brought it up. Seems important to you.”

“Not sure. It is an issue.  Part of that ‘dumb’ Pierre mentioned.” 

“Got Golden Retrievers, Black Labs, White Shepherds, Irish Setters. Pinto…


“Luther. Um, Bernese. Mostly. Brown, black, and white.  Important to Luther. He keeps telling me. I keep forgetting.” 

“Lot of variety.”

“That’s the point.  Different. Not better.”

“I get it that color isn’t important.”

“Lot of things aren’t important. Variety is good. I hadda smell the same thing all the time, it’d be pretty boring. Humans value the wrong things. That’s the real stupid of it.”

“Like respect. I need to work on that. Not where I need to be.”

“And size, and growl, and pedigree. You need variety. Arbuckle, for example. Odd name.”

“The Blue Tick?”

“Yeah that’s him. See? Another color.  He likes rabbits.”

You chase squirrels.”

“Squirrels love it.  Good sports.  Arbuckle likes rabbits.”


“Rather chase them than squirrels. Go figure.”

“Oh. You, Pierre, the others give Arbuckle grief over that?”

“Nah. That’s his business.  And the rabbits.”

“Pierre, Arbuckle.  Dogs know each other’s names?”

“We come when you call, right?”


“Most of the time. Most of us.”

“Those that don’t?  Arbuckle, for example?”

“Yuh.  Odd name.  By the time you yell ‘Arbuck,’ he’s out of earshot on dog business.”

“Chasing a rabbit.”




“More than one?”

“Runs the legs off’m.  They can’t climb trees, you know.  Kinda unfair. Wears one out, plays with it.  Scares the bejeebers outta the rabbit, so Arbuckle swaps-off.”

“See where that would keep him busy.”

“And those ears?”

“Big floppy things.”

“Yeah. His momma, I think Basset.  Hard to hear all covered-up like that. Speaking of ears, a little to the left if you would… Ah.”

“Feels good, eh?”

“Yeah. Want I should scratch yours?”

“No, that’s okay.”

“Up to you.  They are tiny little things. They hurt some?  Tiny ears, weak noses.  Humans need some fixing so…  Lookit!  Squirrel!”

“Forget the squirrel.  We’re talking here.”

“Yeah, but…”

“Forget it.”

“Lotta time, you’re no fun, you know?”

“Yeah.  Listen, you started this.”

“But I’m done now.”

“I’m not. Color. I thought dogs were colorblind.”

“Why’d you think that?”

“Read it somewhere.  Or heard it.”

“Don’t believe all you hear.”

“Good point.”

“Less of what you read.”

“Something else to work on.”

“Tell you what.  You do good, I’ll try to leave the garbage cans alone.”

“You don’t bother the garbage cans.”

“Not here. Down at Fester’s place.”


“The Chihuahua who roughed-up Sinbad, that Shepherd, last week.”

“You go down there?”

“Yeah yeah yeah.  We’re dogs. Bones! Good Bones.”

“Fester doesn’t rough you up?”

“We understand each other.  Respect.”

“Sorry I snickered.”

“I heard. Why?”

“Bones, or Leftover Mexican grub?”

“Fester’s human isn’t Chihuahua.  She’s Canadian.”

“My mistake.” 

“Humans make a lot of mistakes like that.  Causes trouble.”

“Prejudice.  Pretty much the root of a lot of ‘dumb’ problems.”

“Humans need to back-off some.  Take a sniff.  Accept each other and move on to important stuff like squirrels…”

“Or rabbits…”

“Yeah. By the way. When Fester went at Sinbad?”


“Doing his job. Sinbad was fixing to do bad to Fester’s place. Fester and Sinbad both knew it.”

“Fester roughed-up Sinbad!”

“You snickered again.”

“Fester taking on Sinbad.”

“Got his attention.  Then let it go.  Couple of sniffs.  Respect.  Sinbad and Fester get along now.”


“Won’t lie to you Espie.  There are some genuinely ‘bad’ dogs. Among good dogs it sometimes gets out of hand. Like Pierre was saying about this human ugly.  But that works both ways.  If respect comes first, got a chance it won’t get ugly.”

“Respect.  I’m trying.  Really.  Listen.  About the garbage cans at Fester’s place…”

“I’ll try.”


“Said I’d try.”

“Shake on it?”

“Wouldn’t go that far.”

“Go chase the squirrel, Clutch.”

“Thanks!  Catch you later. About suppertime…”


‘Arbuckle.’ Clutch is right. It’s an odd name. Normal dog needs a normal name.  I mean from all appearances…

[There was more.  I’ll get to it. Maybe tomorrow. Or the next day. Right now, the windmill in the south pasture needs lookin at.]

© SP Wilcenski 2020

Originally on Prose 6/12/2020

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