Children Fiction posted May 8, 2010 Chapters:  ...17 18 -19- 20... 

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Robert meets Bruno

A chapter in the book Ms. N.O.R.T.

Dog Day Afternoon

by Deejharrington

Tanisha a young girl has recently lost her favorite teacher and gained a new friend, Walter, a refugee from Katrina. three bullies have terrified him at school. He and Tanisha join forces for a little
Chapter Nineteen: "Dog Day Afternoon"

For the next week, after school, Walter practiced with Bruno and I worked out the details of the plan for operation, "scare the bejeegers out of Robert"
Walter gained confidence and a bond with the dog. I was busy scheming, doing school work I'd missed and keeping Big Momma happy. I didn't know who was more worn out, me, Walter or Bruno. But in the end, I had a terrific plan.

By Friday afternoon, I was ready. I went to the Warner's house to clue Walter in on what I'd come up with. We had all agreed to keep Walter's newly developing skills a big secret. The fewer people who saw him with Bruno, the bigger the surprise.

When I arrived at the house, all three were in the backyard. Mr. Warner was seated in a lawn chair while Walter put Bruno through his paces. Bruno wasn't on a leash and Walter didn't utter a word. But with a series of hand signals, Bruno did everything Walter asked of him. I was impressed.

I watched at the gate until Warner motioned her it was OK to come in. "He's doing just great. You should be proud of your boyfriend." Mr. Warner told me with a teasing smile.

I frowned for a moment, "He ain't my boyfriend, I mean, he's my friend, sure. But I'm helpin' him out of a situation, that's all."

At that, Mr. Warner laughed. Which got Walter's attention. He told Bruno to stay and went over to find out what was so funny.

"Hey, Tanisha. What's up? Did you get a look at Bruno? Isn't he a great dog? Did you see me? I wasn't telling him to do a thing and bam! He just does when I move my hand. I've been practicin' positive thinkin' and visula... visula..."

I finished the word for him, "visualization".

"Yup, that's it. I've been workin' really hard on that. And it's doing the trick again." Walter's smile was full pride.

I didn't know which surprised her more, how well Walter was doin' with Bruno or that long winded speech he'd just given. Both were out of the ordinary.

"Listen Walter, I've come up with...a plan...for you know who."

Warner let loose of his booming laughs, "Girl, you might as well spill the whole bean pot. Walt, here, has already filled me in on the details.

I looked suspiciously at both of them, then shrugged my shoulders. It didn't make no matter to me that Warner knew about the plan as long as he was down with it. I took a deep breath and began to outline my strategy.

"Tomorrow is the first day of street fair in downtown Pontiac. All the kids will be there, for sure. Especially Robert."

"You know that because?" Walter questioned
"Because I overheard Robert and his boys talkin' about a rapper they wanted to hear. Lil B, that's the rapper, will be startin' his show at noon Saturday at the main music stage. So I know where and when we can find our victim."

Mr. Warner said with a warning in his voice, "Now you two promised me no one would get hurt in all this. I plan on holding you to that."

Walter answered for both of them, "Oh, no Mr. Warner, I wouldn't dream of putting Bruno in the danger. And I guess I don't want Robert hurt either, not really." He scuffed his toe in the dirt as he said that.

"That's fine then as long as you remember that and kept a tight hold on his leash." reminded Warner.

The next afternoon found the three of us wandering the blocked off streets of downtown Pontiac. Music blared, the smells of food filled the air and crowds roamed the booths and exhibits. A few parents pulled their children closer as Burno walked past. But he was a perfect gentleman. Under Walter's watchful eye, Bruno let a couple of the braver ones pet him.

It didn't take long for us to figure out where the concert was being held. Rap music was already blasting from giant speakers. The main act hadn't gone on yet. So we had plenty of time to scope out Robert and his boys. They were all seated in the front row. They were messing around, singing their own off-key version of a popular song and making fun of anyone who passed by.

I pointed out to Walt where the wannbe thugs were. I swear both boy and dog got a gleam in their eyes. I decided to stay back to watch the show and not the one on the stage.

Walter and Bruno slowly walked up the outside aisle till they were directly beside the target. They stood quietly by till the group noticed them. The teasing and fronting started immediately. "Hey white boy, what are ya doin' here? The country music is playing on the other stage." They began making twanging noises, trying to sound like Elvis or somebody. Walter and Bruno remained calm. Robert kept the trash talk going. " Yeah, white boy Wal...ter, ain't you suppose to be at the kiddie rides with all the rest of the cry babies."

Walter just smiled and looked down at Bruno. "My friend here wanted to hear Lil' B. I try not to argue with him. On command, Bruno gave a low growl and showed a little teeth.

Robert hadn't noticed the big dog before. But, he saw and heard him now. Robert slid a little bit away from the two. "What kind of Louisiana bear is that? He is the ugliest animal I have ever seen." At that, Bruno growled a little louder as if he'd heard the insult. Robert slid into the seat next to him, which was occupied by one of his friends. The boy yelled and shoved Robert to the ground.

Bruno and Walt stepped a little closer. Robert jumped up and backed away. He hit the stage and the security pushed him away and right in Bruno's path. With a hand motion from Walt, Bruno went into full protective mode. He got up on his hind legs and let out a tremendous bark. Robert took about a second to decide fleeing was the best action. His friends laughed and pointed at their boy running like the wind. He had a decidedly wet spot on his pants.

I was laughing so hard tears were running down my face. Walter and Bruno walked back together. I swore even Bruno was giving a doggie smile.
"I know that Robert will think twice before even coming close to you anymore.
That was the best and funniest thing I've seen in ages. Great job you too."

Walter looked down at his furry buddy. Bruno looked back like he was having the best time. "I think we both deserve double hamburgers. Let's go find a couple, boy." Walter and Bruno started walking away to find the food booths. To me, it looked like they both swaggered just a little.

"Hey, wait up. Burgers and ice cream sound great. My treat." I ran to catch up with my two heroes.


Robert, the 2nd bully to bother Walter, has a meet and greet with Bruno.
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