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Devil Dog

by Len Bailey “Oh, poor Taffy.” The little girl knelt on her back porch in a back hollow in the back of the world. She cried and cried as only brokenhearted little girls can. Enough teardrops to fill a coal bucket. Her dog, no bigger than a bread box, was tied to the stoop post. He whined. He drooped his head, for his body was covered with red sores and scabs except for a few patches of hair on his hind quarters and on the very tips of his ears. He twitched. He trembled. He looked up with eyes so forlorn that she cried all over again. “What’re you crying for, Corky Sue?” came a voice. “You never seen the mange before?” The little girl spun around. There stood a tall man dressed in a soldier’s uniform. His chest had medals and colorful ribbons. “Lawton?” cried Corky Sue. She clapped and went to hug him, but Taffy bared his teeth—the only thing left to identify the pitiful creature as a dog. “Stop it right now.” She jerked on his leash. “Don’t you remember Lawton? For shame.” “Oh,

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