No one knew whose dog he really was, and no one seemed to be
his master. Everyone in that community knew the big black dog, and
everyone thought of the big black dog as the town's dog.
given day the big black dog visited almost every house in the little
town, making his rounds and making his presence known. Everyone who
saw him thought he was such a beautiful tall animal, with full,
shiny, flowing coat of fur; a well-shaped, powerful head; alert
ears; bright, keen eyes; and a fluffy wagging tail. And they all
seemed proud of the dog because they thought of him as the
courageous protector of their little town.
Whenever the big black dog came to visit, the people of the town
greeted him in their yards, invited him into their homes, and even
fed him the finest scraps from their table. No one would dream of
refusing the big black dog when he would beg for a scrap or whine
for a treat. Who indeed would turn away the mighty protector of
Whenever the big black dog saw you out and about, he would greet
you in his customary friendly manner, wagging his tail, licking your
hand and giving you his full attention with those bright eyes.
People were so fond of the town's dog that they would seek him out
while on walks or while driving about the community. He was often
the topic of conversation when people met. When people said "Have
you seen the dog lately?" there was no question they were talking
about the big black dog. "Yes, isn't he such a fine dog?" would
always be the reply.
The people of the town could not imagine the town without their
fierce protector, the big black dog.
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There was a strange phenomenon that the townspeople never seemed
to notice, and certainly never commented on. If they got
together to make plans to improve the town, or assembled the
ambition to bring about something new, the big black dog was always
there in their midst, quietly moving among the crowd. And as they
talked and worked together, the big black dog stealthily crept about
among them and issued little nips and bites at their heels and
flanks, sometimes even drawing blood. At first the people of the
town appeared surprised at the dog's behavior, but over time came to
expect and even ignore the dog's behavior and the little wounds they
received. The big black dog was never punished for the wounds he
inflicted, and the people of the town seemed quick to forgive the
dog, immediately forgetting the source of their pain.
After some time the town's fine people even began to bark and
growl and bite at each other because they mistakenly came to believe
that their fellow citizens were the cause of their pain.
So great was the influence of the big black dog.
Over time the good intentions of the townspeople were
extinguished. The people of the town came to believe that nothing
good could happen in their town because whenever they came together
with the best of intentions, they usually came away with unbearable
And everyone in the town continued to feed the big black dog,
their great protector with the beautiful coat. "Isn't he such a fine
dog?" they would say. Kind words about the dog were usually followed
with, "Too bad nothing good ever happens in this town."
And nobody lived happily ever after.
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