Friday, March 13, 2009

The Jeffersons, Part One

A Boy Needs a Dog

“How was dinner?” Mom asked when I got home.

“Was it like having dinner at a prison riot?” Dad chuckled.

“Bob” Mom gave him a disapproving look, “let Samuel tell us about it”.

“Well…” I began, “it was nice. The food was good and we had chocolate cake for dessert”.

Mom and Dad just looked at me.

I knew my parents wanted details. I knew they wanted to know how a family with six kids and a dog could exist without complete chaos. I just didn’t know how to tell them. It was nice. The food was good. We got through dinner with only one argument, and that was when baby Lincoln dropped his cup and Kennedy got angry when Madison picked it up before she could. That was over pretty quickly though. It might have been different if everyone hadn’t been so intent on asking me questions. I wasn’t used to this. I was used to just listening. They really expected me to talk. When I wasn’t answering questions with “yes, I am an only child” or “yes, the school uniforms are awful”, they were all trying to talk to me at the same time, but it didn’t seem like a prison riot. More like a party, and I liked it.

“What about the house...” my mom began, “were you, um, comfortable there?”

“Their house is nice, mom. It isn’t like ours, but it isn’t real messy if that is what you’re thinking.” I almost felt like I was defending them!

“Oh, I didn’t mean that” mom said, quickly, trying to keep from sounding rude. “I was just wondering if they are all moved in yet, they’ve only been in there a few weeks, you know”.

At this point, Dad was grinning. He knew Mom would be mortified if I ever mentioned to Mrs. Jefferson that she had asked how her house looked. I decided to play with Mom a little bit. “Would you like me to go over and ask her if you can go in and have a look?”

“Really, Samuel!”

I smiled, enjoying getting a chance to tease mom. It didn’t happen often. While I had both my parents attention I thought I might as well ask them again.
“Mom, the Jeffersons have a dog.”

“No, Samuel.”


My dad quickly left the room and I knew it was because he wanted a dog too. I had overheard him once say “a kid should have a dog” to my mother when they didn’t think I was listening. My mother, however, always won.

“You know exactly why, Samuel. You are not old enough to take care of a dog and I will not have a dog stinking up this house.”

“The Jeffersons have a dog and their house doesn’t stink.”

“I am not discussing this Samuel, I am glad you had a good time and very glad you have new friends, but we are not getting a dog.”

“Your mom just needs to meet a nice dog.”

“Yeah, she just hasn’t met the right dog yet.”

“Your dad’s right, a kid needs a dog!”

The Jeffersons and I were rolling around the backyard with their dog Spike. He was a big hairy mixed breed that loved being petted. Tommy, Harry, Tyler and I had just walked Spike, or I should say Spike had just walked us, and we were trying to figure out how to get a dog for me.

‘Do you know anyone whose dog is having puppies?‘


‘Do you know anyone who wants to get rid of a dog?’


Madison had overheard the conversation. “If you really want a dog, you should go to the pound. They kill lots of dogs there, dogs that nobody comes to get.”

“Where do they kill dogs?!” Kennedy was visibly upset. “People just can’t kill dogs, can they Tommy?”

Tommy gave Madison a “you are so stupid” look, and Madison got down on her knees and looked Kennedy in the eye.

“If a dog doesn’t have anybody that wants it, and it goes to the pound, then sometimes they put it to sleep. Then they don’t have to worry about it starving or getting hit by a car.”

“Does it ever wake up?” She looked at Madison hopefully.

“No, I am sorry Kennedy, it never wakes up.”

Kennedy’s eyes got all teary and she looked at me and said “Sammy, you have got to get your dog from the pound!”

I looked around at all the Jeffersons and knew then and there that it was settled.
I would get a dog and I would get it from the pound.

This is an excerpt from "The Jeffersons," an unpublished Children's Story by Rachel Ogea. Visit her blog at

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