The Gobbly Dog
Time has left few clear memories from when I was four years old, but there is one recollection that has not faded. I remember drawing a three-headed dog in the dirt with a stick; an awful thing - this beast - all fangs and fire. I was scribbling away with all the intensity of Dr. Frankenstein in his lab when the Devil hopped up on a rock to watch.
"What'cha working on, kiddo?" The Devil asked.
I paused and looked up at the wiry goat legged fellow. "A gobbly dog," I said matter-of-factly then returned to drawing.
The Devil stroked his goatee and murmured, "A gobbly dog …eh?"
After finishing up the eyes and fangs I looked back up and said, "A gobbly dog will eat'ch whole body up y'know, 'cept for your ears of course. Gobbly dogs don't like ears. That is how you can know if a gobbly dog ate someone, 'cause all that'd be left is two bloody ears."
That Devil stared at my drawing then at me. Peered hard he did. I could feel his eyeballs snooping deep into my soul and then I witnessed a shudder creep from his horns right down to the tip of his pointed tail.
"Son …," he said, "that head of yours is plum filled up with monsters. Why I'd venture to say you got more monsters hidden away in there than I have in all the pits of hell."
I remember smiling at this, thinking it a right nice thing to say to someone.
The Devil scratched his noggin, "Son …with all of God's good beauty in the world, why would any youngen want to draw such monstrosities?"
My brows knitted together as I put this to serious contemplation. After a spell I shrugged my shoulders all the way up to my ears and said, " 'cus I like 'em," and went back to drawing my gobbly dog.
That old Devil continued to watch me draw for a while. His saggy face seated in those great big hands of his. I seem to remembering him letting out a long tired sigh at some point and then just wandering on off. Ain't seen hide nor horn of him since.