The Masked Man's Christmas (Part 2)

(Note: This is part 2 of the Dinosaur Christmas story
for 2016. If you missed part 1, I posted it yesterday:

Be sure to begin with part 1 and read the daily
installments in the proper sequence.

Also, if you need to place a Christmas Order,
do it today - the big day is almost here!)

The Masked Man's Christmas (Part 2)

He was all ears and feet and matted puppy fur. He was
seven weeks old. He'd been living on the streets for
six freezing days and nights -- ever since the day his
mother's owner had packed the puppies into a box,
driven far out into the country, and delivered them
one by one to seven farmers.

Farmers could always use another dog. But they wanted
a big dog. None of them wanted the runt of the litter.

And so his brothers and sisters disappeared one by
one, until only he and his yellow-furred sister
remained -- and then the very last farmer chose
her, picked her up out of the box and handed her
to his wife.

"Do you want the other one?"

"The small one? No, I got no use for a runt."

"He'd be half price. Two fifty."

"Not worth it. He'd cost more to keep than the work
I'd get out of him."

"You can have him for free. I don't want him."

"Neither do I. Runts are trouble."

And so he stayed in the box, and when they got back to
town, his owner stopped the car by a dark alley, picked
him up by the scruff of his neck, opened the car door,
and dumped him unceremoniously into the cold winter

"Go on -- get out of here!"

He sat down, shivering, not knowing what was happening or
what to do.

"Scram, you little mutt! Beat it!"

Then the wheels turned, and the car began to move away --
and just like that he was all alone.

He slept in the alley that night, curled up in a tiny ball
of fur inside an old wooden crate lying next to one of the
garbage cans.

He woke in the morning, cold and hungry and miserable.

Two big men were wrestling the trash cans to the front of
the alley, picking them up, and dumping their contents into
the back of a garbage truck.

"Damn, it's cold!"

"What do you expect this time of year?"

"I hate this time of year!"

"Whaddaya mean? It's almost Christmas!"

The first man hacked and spat.

"I hate Christmas, too!" he said.

"Yeah, but we get the day off."

"That's true."

The men walked back into the alley.

"Watch out -- it's a rat!"


"That old crate over there!"

"That's not a rat -- it's a damn dog!"

"Looks like a rat!"

The two men looked down into the wooden crate.

"Must be lost or something."

"I guess."

"You want him?"

"What would I do with a dog?"

"I don't know."

"I don't want no damn dog."

"Neither do I."

The men grabbed two more trash cans and hauled them to their

"Maybe some kid would want the dog. He could be a Christmas

"I don't know any kids."

"Some kid in the neighborhood."

"They're all juvenile delinquents. They're always throwing
stuff and breaking windows. The only thing I want to give
any of them is a size 12 boot."

"Yeah, they're like that where I live, too."

The men took the trash cans back down the alley, and stopped
by the wooden crate. They looked down at the puppy.

"I guess we just leave him here, right?"

"I guess."

"Someone will want him."

"People always want dogs."

"So I guess he'll find a home pretty soon."

"You can count on it."

The men turned and walked back to their truck.

But they were wrong. No one paid any attention to the
tiny puppy that slept in the alley and lived on whatever
food scraps he could find.

The days passed, and the nights grew colder. The puppy
shivered as he thought of his mother, his sisters and his
brothers -- all lost to him forever.


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