Nightmare On East Magnolia

Published: Thursday, October 31, 2013 at 09:08 AM.

            The dog was about the size of a small horse. He would scare you even when he was tied to the giant log chain in the fenced in back yard. He had teeth the size of elephant tusks. He was junkyard dog mean. And he didn’t like little kids.

            Home for him was the big two story house at the corner of Stonewall and Magnolia. Every child out toward the end of Stonewall had to pass by “Bruno” on our way to town. He’d start barking at you about Cherry Avenue and would still be barking when you sprinted past the Baptist Church up where the road turned toward town. If you slowed down or looked in his direction, he’d climb that wood fence to get you! When we got by unscathed, we’d collect our breaths in front of Mr. Raymond White’s service station and thank our lucky stars. 

            I took to taking the long way to town around by Bethel College and then down the railroad track so as not to arouse the dog’s ire. Going by at night was like jungle warfare. We’d snake around by Jack Brummitt’s Funeral Home, crawl through the woods and come out behind Bo Booth’s house. I didn’t mind the extra distance or the dirt on my hands and knees; I made it home safe and sound!

            I don’t remember who decided it was time we did something. I do remember it was Halloween week and we figured by the sixth grade we’d outgrown the simple “trick or treating” anyway. We needed, according to Yogi and Buddy, “a little more adventure in our lives”. It probably would be prudent to change the names here to protect the innocent…….but as I look back on it, there weren’t no innocent people in this caper!

            “Let’s dig a giant pit beside the stop sign, dangle a little bait in front of Bruno and when he lights out after us, we’ll lead him into the hole”.

            Dead silence.

            I could see a hundred problems with this plan already. “Buddy, are you nuts!” Terry was the first to find his voice, “Which one of us is going to be the bait? And what if that dog misses the pit?”

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