The Ugly Pup by James Cox


This story is fiction, but as there are some truths in it, the names have been changed to protect both the guilty and the innocent. It’s about the most famous dog in the land of Dog World – so let’s start at the beginning, as that is the easiest part to start with! If I started at the end, I’d get muddled and so would you!

PART ONE

In a time long ago, in a land far away – that’s more than a bus journey or two so, it’s very far away! It is a cold, dark, snowy night,and a lady dog is running through the streets carrying a basket that’s so well covered that you can’t see anything inside it. Now, you may ask why was this is happening. Why is such a well groomed lady out on a night such as this? She runs up to a door, puts the basket down on the step, and knocks; then she runs off and hides beside a neighbouring building, and peeps round the corner.

The door opens, and a lady dog opens the door. She’s wearing a nurse’s uniform. She looks round and calls out: “Hello is any one there?”

The nurse looks round and still can’t see any one, and steps back to close the door, but as she does, she looks down and sees the basket. A note is attached to it, and she picks it up and starts to read it.

“Please look after my pup. He will have a better life with you than he could ever have with me. But do not judge him for his looks or he will have no life at all. He’s not very pretty and may scare some people.”

Well, being nosy, the nurse had to look. Didn’t she? She pulled the blanket back and gasped in horror at what she saw. Letting out a scream, she put the blanket back, and was going to shut the door when a voice came from behind her: “What’s all the screaming about, Sister?”

The Sister turned to the voice and pointed to the basket.

“Look!” She squeaked.

The Matron lifted the blanket. “Oh! Poor little mite!” She exclaimed, “What has happened to you?”

The Sister handed her the note and Matron read it and told the Sister to bring the basket in out of the cold.

“Oh, Alex, can’t we just close the door and hope that someone else comes along and picks up the basket?”

Matron was shocked and angrily pointed out that this was the Dog World Orphanage, and no matter how deformed this poor, little pup was, he had been committed to their care and he would be looked after.

“I’ll personally take charge of him,” and she took the basket from Sister and took him to her own private sitting room.

The mysterious lady watched the basket go into the orphanage and disappeared into the night ……………..

PART TWO

Alex kept her promise and looked after him herself. She called him Frankie, after her father, and made him a mask so that he could mix with all the other pups in the Orphanage. At least that’s what she hoped would happen. He had to eat his meals by himself because the mask had to come off, but Alex was optimistic that this wouldn’t matter too much.

It worked quite well whilst the pups were very little, but as they grew up and others came into the Orphanage, things changed. One of the newcomers was quite big for his age and quite a bully. Alex blamed it on his parents, who had bullied him until they got fed up with him and moved away from town, leaving him behind.

Of course, because Alex still kept her promise and looked after Frankie herself, Billy, the bully, called him Matron’s pet and kept picking on him, encouraging the other dogs to do the same.

Alex noticed Frankie was upset and called him into her sitting room.

“What’s wrong Frankie?” She asked, and watched as tears slipped down behind the mask.

“Nothing” mumbled Frankie, and he turned to go, but Alex caught hold of his paw and asked him again, adding “and why the tears?”

So Frankie poured out all his woes, how Billy was calling him “Matron’s pet” and “Frankenstein’s monster” because of his mask, and that he was getting the other pups to do the same. Alex became very annoyed and was all for going straight to Billy and telling him off for picking on someone who was different, but Frankie begged her not to, as it would probably make matters worse.

But Alex was having none of it. She left Frankie in her sitting room, and went to find Billy. Seizing him by the ear, she marched him to her office, and sat him in a chair in front of her desk.

“Now, Billy, what’s wrong with you? I thought I’d taught you better than this. Why are you picking on someone who is different than you? All pups here are the same under the skin and all should be treated the same, with respect, not name calling. If I hear it happens again, you will be in serious trouble, as all my pups that leave here get good jobs and live well in Dog World, and they certainly don’t go round bullying because someone is smaller or different than themselves.”

For a while Billy, behaved himself, but slowly he forgot Alex’s words, and gathered a gang of younger dogs round him, and they started pushing the other dogs around and bullying them, and Billy became top dog in the orphanage because the other pups were too frightened of him to complain.

Then one day in the pups’ play room, Billy climbed on a chair and shouted to Frankie: “Oh, monster, I bet no one’s seen your face under that mask – not even you! Have you? I bet it’s so horrible that even your mum couldn’t bear the sight of you, and that’s why she dumped you here!”

Then Billy jumped off the chair and grabbed hold of Frankie and whispered, “If you run and tell Matron, I’ll set my gang on to you!”

Frankie ran off and hid, then he pulled himself together, and went and knocked on Alex’s door, and asked her to give him a mirror. Alex was surprised and worried, and asked Frankie why, but he just shrugged his shoulders and told her that it was time. Alex hesitated and asked again if Frankie was sure, and he nodded and held his paw out for the mirror.

He held the mirror up to his face and slowly removed his mask ….. Alex held her breath and watched him.

He looked hard in to the mirror and cried out loud: “My face! My terrible face! Why didn’t you tell me that I looked so horrid! No one will ever, ever see my face again!” and he pulled his mask down, and smashed the mirror into hundreds of pieces, and ran crying from the room.

~~~ to be continued ~~~

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