|This painting is called "Roadblock."|
In the Way
As I biked up the street, trying to shift my backpack around so it wouldn’t feel so heavy, I glanced up at the sky for a moment. The clouds lay heavily, trapping the humidity near to the ground. I kept pedaling up the street, hoping it would rain on me before I got home. I really enjoyed biking to the library, but getting home was unpleasant, with hills to struggle up and cramped streets to get through.
I turned onto a smaller street, but I couldn’t go very far, because a car was sitting in the middle of the narrow road. Getting off my bike, I walked it around the car, looking at all the people who were gathered. People had come out of houses, were leaning over railings, or were standing on the edge of the road, staring at a small black and white dog. It looked like a pug, but I didn’t know for sure.
A “Pepies” truck was stopped behind the dog, and one of the drivers was standing near the dog, coaxing at it. “Come on, move, little thing,” he whispered.
“Why don’t you just honk the truck’s horn? That’ll scare him away,” I suggested.
A little girl standing against the side of a house shook her head. “We already tried that, and the dog ran under the “Pepies” truck. Now the drivers are afraid that he will go back under if anyone makes too much noise.”
A mailman leaned over the brush and fence behind me. “Come on, dog, chase me!”
The dog just glanced at him and shied away.
A family walked up the street and around the stopped car, the boy carrying a musical instrument case of some sort. The father pointed at the dog and started laughing. “That dog was on this road when we walked this way to go to your lesson, Ted!”
The boy stared at the dog as it cowered away from the dad’s laugh. “Is everyone afraid it will run under the truck?” he asked.
The “Pepies” truck driver nodded. “Yeah. Do you have any ideas?”
Ted smiled and set down his instrument case. Stepping forward, he reached out slowly and tried to pick up the dog. The dog jerked back and run under the truck. As the “Pepies” truck driver banged his head against the truck’s front, Ted lay down on his stomach and scooched under the truck.
“Ted!” Ted’s grandmother cried sternly, her nose in the air, “you’re getting muddy!”
Ted didn’t come out the way he had, but crawled towards the back of the truck. The dog barked and ran out in front of Ted, emerging from under the truck.
“I got him out of the way!” Ted called, rolling out from under the truck and coming to get his case as the “Pepies” men and the other people cheered.
I saw the dog skitter up the street and run off, and smiled. “Good job, Ted.”