Sandy and His Dog: Western Short Story on line
On Line Stories
this is one of several stories that I have written to read on line. In this case it is a western story on line and about a boy and a dog. Both the dog and the boy are hard of hearing but have learned to help each other to get along. They make a good team.
Sandy and Spot
I’ll probably never know who Sandy was or where he and that spotted dog, Spot, came from. One day the boy and the dog just seemed to be here. Sandy had reddish brown hair and looked to be about twelve years old. I started calling him Sandy. He made signs and seemed to like the name. I don’t know how he knew because he was also deaf. What is even more weird is he had this dog—the likes of which I never saw before.
The dog was called Spot because he had so many spots. Spots all over. Some about the size of a penny and some about like a two-bit piece. All black though. The dog was also deaf. The first thing I saw Spot do was go up to my horse who is generally a bit on the skittish side. Not in this case. Spot just looked up at the horse and the horse bent down and nuzzled the dog. I never saw that before. Sandy made some signs with his hands and the dog picked up the reins and brought the horse over to me. I was going to get going on some errands, but how did Sandy or Spot know that?
Don’t reckon it was any of my business but the boy and dog struck me as quite a team. I gave him a job tending my horses; you know feed them and curry them and such. Didn’t plan on anything dangerous, but that came too.
Lots of folks figured Sandy weren’t too bright because he couldn’t talk. But hell, don’t figure that’s any of his fault. Folks get strange notions sometimes. He did talk though. He talked with his hands and maybe those folks who don’t know that are the fools.
He got along well with the Indians in the area. They understood him well. Those hands of his making sign just flew around. Sometimes he would get with some Indians and all their hands would just go up and down and make symbols that I couldn’t even follow. I think they were telling jokes and stories because every once in awhile they would stop and just laugh. Some folks think Indians don’t laugh Well maybe those folks don’t know how to tell a good joke.
Nobody round here ever saw a dog like Spot before. Some folks didn’t think that spotted dog was too smart either.They’s try to sneak up on the dog making noises and yelling but Spot just never paid them no mind. But still Sandy could make a few gestures and that dog’s do ‘bout anything Sandy wanted.
“Well what happened Tuesday?”
Our newspaper publisher, Sarah wanted me to quit rambling and get on with it. It was her job to know what was goin' on in town but she could be powerful impatient. No nevermind, deep down we understood each other and she'd get her story.
“That was really something, wasn’t it?” There was a gang of ten or twelve who probably thought it’d be a cinch to run off a few horses from a kid and a deaf dog. I’m sure they heard in town that the boy and dog was both deaf.
“Don’t that beat all,” they might have said. “Who the hell would leave good horses with a kid and a deaf dog to guard them?”
So’s they rode up to my corral coming up behind sandy and spot.
“Hey kid, they say ...’’
What followed was an ugly insult by the outlaws.
No response. He must be deaf to ignore an insult like that the outlaws figure. Look at that crazy dog –taking a nap right by all those horses hoofs—wonder he hasn’t got trampled.
What these rustlers didn’t know is that the owner of these horses-who happens to be me—knew exactly what he was doing by hiring Sandy and his dog Spot to take care of my horses.
There are lots of people who will steal your horses. There’s them that know they can sell them for profit. There’s also the Indians who sometimes they will steal a horse ‘cause they need it and figure you don’t really need it that bad. Or they did it as sort of a sport to see if they can outwit you or to see who has the most powerful medicine.
They know a deaf boy and a deaf dog together got more powerful medicine.
“Well what happened. When did the outlaws come back?”
“They came back after dark despite a full moon.”
Spot couldn’t hear them. Neither could Sandy. What they didn’t think about was that the horses could hear them. Spot could sense the horse’s nervousness. Could he speak to horses? I don’t know but he ran around to the rider’s horses that seemed to understand something because they started acting up. Sandy signaled spot and that dog started chasing my horses around in circles. The rustlers couldn’t control their own horses and Spot had my horses boxing them in.
Another signal from Sandy and Spot herded my horses back to the corral. The rustlers spurred their horses to the West until they ran into some local Indians. The Indian chief looked to Spot and Sandy The boy and dog exchanged glances. Sandy glanced at the Indians and signed something with his hands. The Indians let the outlaws walk away and took their horses. They weren’t my horses so I let the Indians take them.
I don’t think them outlaws walked too very far before they ran across the sheriff.
© 2011 Don A. Hoglund