Biographical Non-Fiction posted October 20, 2021

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An old man remembering an old friend.

A young man's loyal pet

by Frank Ball

My family lived in a small rural town where a family cow was not unusual. It was in my morning chores to do the milking. Our dog had a Doberman bloodline but looked more like a Rottweiler. Prince seemed very bright and was a loyal companion, walking together each morning to do the milking.
One morning it crossed my mind to determine if Prince could understand spoken English. On our morning walk to the barn with a milk pail in hand, speaking in a normal tone of voice, I said
“This morning, I think you should stay home without following me to the barn.”
Without a moment’s hesitation, the dog turned around, returning to the house.
Prince displayed intelligence in another way I thought remarkable. We often went on walks together in our rural neighborhood. Prince loved to scare up rabbits and try to chase them down before they found an inaccessible hiding place. I noticed, when I was not carrying a rifle, he would scout in all directions. Still, if a rifle were in my possession, he would only scout for rabbits behind me, verifying that he understood what the gun could do.
Besides his role as a loving pet, he was the neighborhood Alpha male. When a bitch was in season anywhere around, he was the first in line. Still, when he was old, it used to pain me to see him turn around and around, trying to bend his joints enough to lay down. I was sad to see him pass on. Now, when I find difficulty bending my ninety-year-old body, I think of Prince.


Beautiful Creatures writing prompt entry
Writing Prompt
Write a short essay about an animal - maximum 300 words. It can be a beloved pet or a wild animal you admire. The photo you include should be of the animal, or type of animal, you are describing.

It is said that crows are smarter than dogs, but they don't look like it.
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