Alpha male

My sister's family is close knit

but very casual, full of pets.

That summer the house dog was an Airedale

A big animal – wiry – intelligent.

Friendly enough but very watchful

Proprietorial even

Of people and premises.


As usual, if visiting, sisters do helpful chores.

One morning I stooped to scoop

Some towels and shoes from the stairs

To carry them up to their cupboards and closets.

As I lifted my head and moved forward

I heard a tense, deep growl

Square in my face.

The dog had braced itself in my path

Pulling back its lips, fangs sharp

A snarl grumbling in its throat

Demanding 'right of way'.

Not just a warning - a threat!


I saw RED!

The bundle dropped from my arms

As I raised my palm

And smacked him full across the jaws.

I knocked him backwards - upwards - at least two steps.

You never saw such a surprised dog in your whole life.

You never saw such a surprised woman either.

I don't hit animals.

My reaction was instinctive.

This confrontation was POWER!


How dare he!


My sister appeared on the landing.

'What on Earth....'


'Who the hell is in charge here?' I gasped

Still shocked by my own violence.


'Him, of course!'

And she laughed, and laughed 

Leaning against the wall, guffawing.

'I take it, you gave him his come-uppance.'


'Jeez! I'm sorry.'


'Don't worry about it. He knows now

When you visit, he's not the pack leader.'


That evening he still came to sit by me

But not so closely.

Friendly enough, but watchful, very watchful.

I rubbed his head and scratched behind his ears

But I did not say 'Sorry.'

◄ Choking

The Doctor ►


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Wed 21st Mar 2018 20:35

A salutary tale Cynthia, hard on the back of The Dive - they do as you say show a good flow - this was obviously hard earned, and great to read!


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Wed 21st Mar 2018 19:21

Really enjoyed this one.

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Laura Taylor

Wed 21st Mar 2018 13:47

Excellent write, Cynth - been there, done that.

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Wed 21st Mar 2018 12:09

This is how it is done. Love it! Thank you. Anya x

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Brian Maryon

Wed 21st Mar 2018 12:07

I don't suppose you'll find that one in Barbara Woodhouse's training manual!

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Cynthia Buell Thomas

Wed 21st Mar 2018 11:58

I have one more entry after this one, probably tomorrow. I have no idea where this 'flood' has come from, this month, but the press of words has been inexorable, demanding outlet. I feel like a 'word machine' gone berserk, hopefully with some purpose.

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