Humor

by Stanley Yokell

Being in a bad humor is not conducive to writing humorous stories. Satire about today's politics and politicians does not qualify as humor. But we must try, because without humorous tales, life would be too grim. Here is an attempt.

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One fine spring Sunday, Shep, the mongrel, leaped over the fence of the yard in which he was confined and ran loose on Brooklyn's streets. Shep had long known how to recognize the dogcatcher truck and its captives and the city's animal control officers with their leather loops. As Shep wandered around his Canarsie neighborhood, he encountered his rival Rover, wearing a collar and dog tag. His humans had let him out to do his business rather than walking him on a leash.

Shep greeted Rover with sniffs of Rover's backside as Rover sniffed his. "How'd you get out?" Rover asked.

"Jumped over the fence," Shep replied.

"I see you aren't wearing a collar. Better watch out for the dog catchers. They'll euthanize you before you know it," Rover warned.

"I can smell them and their jail truck a mile away," Shep bragged.

Rover found a convenient tree, lifted a hind leg and marked the tree as his.

"Hey. That tree is mine. I marked it the last time I was loose," Shep growled.

"Well, it's mine now," Rover growled back.

"We'll see about that," Shep responded as he lifted a leg and squirted the tree.

Rover was about to respond when the white animal control truck with its caged, growling and barking captives pulled up. Two officials in green uniforms descended holding leather loops and headed for Shep and Rover.

"Let's get out of here now," Rover growled. We can settle this next time."

"Nah," Shep answered, "You can go back to your nice warm house, Me? I'm going to tease those humans before I go back and jump over the fence into my yard."

"Suit yourself," Rover growled, "I'm outta here."

Rover took to his heels and was soon scratching at his human's door. There was little chance that he would be captured. His humans let him in and closed the door.

Shep took Rover's departure as an opportunity to mark the tree. As an animal control officer approached, captive dogs in the truck barked, "Watch out. He's right behind you with his loop."

Shep gave one last squirt and backed away from the tree. The animal control officers were approaching from two sides. Shep barked and backed away, just out of range of the loops the men carried.

"That son of a bitch is teasing us," one officer told the other.

They began to run after Shep with one on each side. But Shep trotted toward his home just fast enough to avoid being trapped by a loop. When they arrived at Shep's fenced-in yard. Shep paused just long enough to lift a leg and squirt before he jumped the fence to the safety of his yard.

The animal control officers debated about ringing the doorbell and demanding Shep's humans surrender him.

"Not worth trying. The weirdos who live here are members of the Animal Freedom Coalition. They walked back to their truck and drove away with their captive.

Tommy Cat, who lived next door, meowed to his mistress, "Well that damned dog escaped again."

She took Tommy Cat's meowing as a demand for a dish of warm milk and poured a saucer full. Tommy Cat finished the milk and leaped to her lap where he purred himself to sleep.

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