On the porch.

By Henry Dumas

September 25, 2022

The assignment: Anthropomorphism is the attribution of human characteristics to something that isn’t human, such as an animal or object. Write a scene or story that includes anthropomorphism.

            That evening, Steven and his girlfriend sat together on a wooden swing on the front porch, watching the sunset over the mountains as the last moment of daylight disappeared. They both wondered what the next few days would bring, and they hoped for a good outcome.

            Cindy, his black Labrador retriever, laid on the cool cement porch next to Steven’s girlfriend and enjoyed having her ears rubbed as her dark brown piercing eyes investigated the darkness.

            “What’s out there?” Cindy said to herself, trying not to look alarmed. She didn’t want to disturb the humans from their mating ritual. She knew they had special plans tomorrow, and it included her carrying a ring to Steven. A task she had practiced for several days in secret and she didn’t want to mess up such an important job. The thought of making a mistake caused her to whimper, and the unseen disturbance in the tree lined meadow across the street didn’t help her anxiety.

            Cindy sat up and said out loud to the humans sitting on the porch swing. “I can see something across the street,” she whimpered at the humans.  She could see movement in the darkness, but couldn’t identify what was moving. Her long black hair on the back of her neck stood up like porcupine quills as she leaned forward.

             “Do you see something in the dark, old girl?” Steven asked.

              Cindy was too occupied to reply with words. The only thing that came out of her mouth was a growl.

             “I hope it’s not the black bear everyone has been talking about,” His girlfriend said out loud to no one in particular, as she squeezed Steven’s hand firmly.

            Steven reached under his shirt, gripped his concealed weapon, and put his hand on the back of Cindy’s neck.

            “I know what it means when he puts his hand on my neck.” Cindy said to herself with a loud growl, letting Steven know she was ready.     

             “Get it!” Steven shouted.

               “I got this,” Cindy said out loud as she leaned forward on her tippy-toes and leaped off the porch like a swimmer, jumping into a pond of muddy water not concerned at what was at the bottom, and ran into the darkness, barking and snarling at the unseen danger. 

              A small gray squirrel darted up a tree, making chirping sounds and yelled, “better luck next time you stupid dog.

             “I’ll get you next time, you furry squeaky rodent,” Cindy yelled loud enough for all the forest creatures to hear.   

           “Good girl,” Steven said. As Cindy jogged back to the porch with what looked like a smile on her face, knowing she had saved the day.

            “Looks like you saved us from a wild squirrel,” Steven jokes.

            Cindy took her place next to Stevens’ girlfriend on the porch knowing lots of ear rubs were coming her way, closed her eyes and drifted into a deep sleep dreaming about tomorrow and the special job she practiced, knowing she could do it flawlessly.