The dog Whitie


The dog Whitie

Grateful Crane

In the old days, there were lots of stray dogs everywhere in Japan.
Not only stray dogs, but also dogs which have an owner, could walk around with out a leash.
This is a story in that period.

Part 1

I am a dog, a white dog.
So people call me Whitie.

One day in spring, I was walking along a quiet street alone.
I suddenly felt something unusual; I pricked up my ears and looked around.
A man with a stick in one hand and a trap in the other was tiptoeing behind a big black dog.
I’ve heard there are some men whose jobs are trapping stray dogs to kill.
Apparently the man targeted the black dog, which was eating a piece of bread or something thrown by the man.

“Oh, my best friend Blackie is in trouble,”
I tried to bark at him,
“Blackie, watch out! That man is going to kill you!”
But I couldn’t.

The man turned around and glared at me with merciless eyes as if he was saying,

“Damn white dog! If you bark, I’ll catch you first.”

I was scared to death.
I just ran away as fast as I could like a rabbit escaping from its chaser.
I heard Blackie behind shrieking for help; he was caught, I thought.
But I didn’t even have time to look back.

“Wow, wow! Help me!”
barking, I kept running.

Part 2

I got out of breath when I reached my doghouse, but soon felt at ease.
It was the best place for me with my owner and his family who loved me.
A while later, my owner’s children, a girl and a boy, were coming out of their house.
I wagged my tail and said to them,

“Listen, guys. You can’t imagine what a terrible man I met today,”

Although people treat us as if they could communicate with each other, I’m afraid they don’t understand dog’s language.
But I kept talking to the children earnestly,

“Blackie, the next door’s dog, was caught by the man.
Blackie will be killed soon.
I had a hairsbreadth escape, though.”

The girl usually pats me gently on my head to sooth me when I am too excited.
But this time she didn’t even touch me, just stared at me as if she’d met a stranger.
The girl asked her brother,

“I’ve never seen this black dog before.
Do you know where it comes from?”

“I don’t know,”
her brother answered,
“Maybe it’s a stray dog.”

“What are you talking about?”
I barked again.

People may think dogs can’t understand their words, but we do understand what they are talking about.
That’s why we can do tricks taught by people.

“It’s me, little girl. I’m Whitie,”
barking, I insisted.
Although the words I spoke were only
‘Wow, wow, and yap, yap,’
I tried to tell them I am Whitie.

The girl said to her brother again,

“Come to think of it, it looks like our neighbor’s dog Blackie.”

“Yeah, it’s all black. But I can’t tell if it’s Blackie’s brother or not,”
the boy said.

“He says I’m all black?”
I looked at my paws.
He was right.
All of my paws were black.

“What’s happening? I can’t believe it,”
I kept barking like a mad dog.

“I’m scared! This dog must be mad!” the girl cried.


Suddenly the boy hit me on my shoulder with a bamboo stick.
He tried to hit me again.
I dodged the second attack and barked at the boy fiercely.

“Stop it! I’m ‘Whitie’. Even if I am black right now, I’m ‘Whitie’, your dog.”

“What an impudent dog it is!”
the girl seemed disgusted with me.

The boy picked a stone and threw it.

“Go away, dirty dog!”

The stone hit me on the back.
At last I gave up making them recognize me, and left there dejectedly.

“Alas! I’ve become homeless, a stray dog. No one will love me anymore.”

I couldn’t help but admit that I was no longer a white dog.
I sighed deeply and looked up at the sky.

Part 3

When I was trudging along a strange street another day in the evening, I suddenly heard a puppy screaming,

“Yelp! Yelp! Help me! Yelp! Yelp! Help me!”

I determined to be brave this time and dashed toward the screaming puppy.

There wasn’t the dog-catcher there, but the puppy was surrounded by three little rascals:
one was grabbing a rope which was attached to the puppy’s collar; others, kicking it with their legs.

“Help! Yelp! Help me! Yelp! Yelp!” the poor puppy kept screaming.

I roared at the boys, showing my sharp teeth and pretended to bite them.
Looking at me, the boys ran away at full speed.
I turned back and said to the puppy gently,

“Are you all right? I’ll walk you home.”

Part 4

A few hours later, the puppy and I were in front of a big house.
The puppy said,

“Thank you for saving me, sir. This is my owner’s house. By the way, where do you live, sir?”

“Well, it’s far from here, maybe you’ve never been there,”
I heaved a deep sigh, and then told the puppy that it was high time to say good bye.

“Wait a minute, please? Is your owner strict with you?”
the puppy asked.

“My owner is strict? Why do you ask?”
I asked back.

“If your owner isn’t so strict, would you mind staying here with me tonight?
My owner serves me delicious dinner every evening.
Let’s enjoy eating it together.”

“Thank you so much, but I am kind of busy.
I think I have to go home.
Please say hello to your owner.”

I looked up at the evening sky and started walking.

“Yap, yap,”
the puppy whined at me,

“My name is Potchi. May I have your name, please?”

“I’m Whitie.”

“Whitie? It sounds strange to me, because you are all black.

The puppy’s comment filled my heart with sadness.

“Nevertheless, my name is Whitie.”

“Well, Whitie, Please come to see me again.”

“I will, Potchi. Good-bye.”

“Take care of yourself, Whitie. See you!” The puppy wagged his tail.

To be continued