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Depending On How You Look At It

by Chris Sorrenti

When I was a boy living in Arnprior, I discovered a family of Germans the next street over.
The kids roughly my age, a girl and a boy, had blonde hair and blue eyes,
and were accompanied by their German Shepherd.

I don’t recall how the conversation got there, but at one point it shifted to World War II;
an event not so far away, even to kids in 1966.
We began to argue politically and militarily about who had really won the war.

The Germans, totally convinced of Aryan superiority,
viewed that the Second World War had merely been a setback.

A few days later I was about to walk across the street to a convenience store near the Germans’ home,
with the family black cat, Sooty, oddly enough following me along the way.

The Germans’ Shepherd suddenly charged in full attack mode clearly aimed at my pet cat.
Rather than running, Sooty stood his ground. A moment later the Shepherd made its lunge.
Simultaneously, Sooty leapt up at the dog’s throat with two pairs of claws fully drawn.

Digging them deep into the Shepherd’s throat, the dog yelped in pain, violently shook the cat off,
then went running in the direction of home, leaving all of us in total dismay.
I and the German kids never spoke again.

© 2007

890 hits as of March 2019


Posted on 12/08/2007
Copyright © 2019 Chris Sorrenti

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Gregory O'Neill on 12/08/07 at 07:31 PM

....your own personal "cold-war". I enjoyed the telling of this prose. Thanks.

Posted by Kristina Woodhill on 12/08/07 at 07:57 PM

I enjoy the story telling here, the people involved and the animals that seem to take the tension and deal with it in their unique way. It is a disturbing scene underneath. I have to cheer for the cat, the smaller, and for things that stand up to intolerance. Thanks for sharing this.

Posted by Therese Elaine on 12/11/07 at 04:50 AM

It is amazing how some creatures never seem phased by even the most ferocious of enemies or attacks -reminds me that a lot of us don't stand our ground enough when it counts...a great fable/verse -provocative and insightful in all the right ways.

Posted by Quentin S Clingerman on 12/12/07 at 03:14 AM

An anecdote with several levels of understanding I believe. You have written it in an understated style that emphasizes the "message". I just bought a book that relates the strong, vibrant, good, and lasting influence of the German settlers here in Frederick County Maryland. Of course, that was long before the twentieth century, Nietzche and Hitler.

Posted by Morgan D Hafele on 12/12/07 at 05:15 AM

interesting memory, and even better story. it makes me think really, and i wonder why we allow ourselves to but up borders... what separates you from me other than our own individuality and maybe distance?

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