Having been a part of a family that moves around like a pack of nomads through the years, I have had multiple different encounters and grown relationships with neighboring families. There have been little kids I was able to befriend and even some elders that I could always count on for some homemade cookies or hard candies whenever a visit was scheduled. Almost every single one of these relationships has flourished into friendly connections. All but one.
There was a lonely old man that lived on the very end of my poorly paved cul de sac growing up, his name was Stanley, I vaguely remember my parents referring to him as “Old Man Stan” from time to time. He was a very secluded man that lived in a quaint little brown house, not much to look at…until you entered the backyard. He was a master in disguise when it came to gardening. Stanleys’ backyard seemed to proliferate every single day, a new bloom of vibrant colors and scents always adding character to his artwork of a garden. With no kids or a wife this seemed to be his one passion, a sort of prized possession his garden was.
One scorching summer day I decided to take my energetic puppy Tucker for a walk down the street, the air conditioned rooms in my house not really cutting it, so I thought that some fresh air and a nice breeze would do us some good. Tucker was big for his age, growing rapidly each day as a black Labrador usually does. My stature as an eleven year old was not exactly sturdy enough to tame the wild beast. Walking past Stanleys’ house I noticed a bunny peeking from the beautiful backyard of Stanleys’ house. Immediately I panicked knowing Tucker well enough to know that if he sees this Bunny he will most definitely try and pounce.
Before I could even take a breath my hand was abandoned by Tuckers black leash, looking up I saw it flapping through the air, his panther like body sprinting towards the poor bunny. No matter how fast I ran I knew the outcome of this chase would end terribly. By the time I caught up with tucker he had made his way around the whole garden, his massive paws leaving indents in the once perfectly laid out soil. The hydrangeas that were once standing up towards the sun now smushed to a pulp in the dirt. Tucker sat knowing what he had done, with his face down buried in his paws. Before Stanley could make it outside I grabbed Tucker and we made it back home thinking that we were in the clear. That is until my mom got a call about a ruined flower plot and the paw prints that were left behind as evidence.