A Nasty Experience

by Evan Gill (P6 2021)

             It was a wonderful day at the park. The trees swayed gently in the morning breeze. The merry chatter and laughter of children playing could be heard throughout the park. Butterflies flitted from one flower to another. I took in a deep breath of fresh air and began my cycle.

              I cycled leisurely through the park, occasionally stopping to examine a strange flower or insect.

              Suddenly, I heard barking. I turned around slowly and saw a huge black dog hurtling at me. Its face wore a scowl and its teeth reminded me of that of a shark.

              I hated dogs. Those dirty, slobbery creatures had such sharp teeth and left their faeces all over the place.

              My face contorted into outrage and disgust as the bulldog hurled itself at me.

              I stepped on the bicycle pedals and pedalled like my life depended on it. I cast a glance behind me, and realised the dog was gaining on me. My feet flew over the pedals and I picked up speed.  Beads of  perspiration formed on my forehead. My head whipped around. The gap between us was widening. The dog howled and began running faster than any dog I had ever seen.

              The faster I went, the harder the wind was against my face. It blew some of my sweat into my right eye, and I blinked to get rid of it. In that moment, I heard a crack. My eyes shot open to see my bicycle lifting off the ground, a broken twig behind it. Time froze. The bulldog was nearly catching up, its tongue lolling out of its mouth. My brain screamed for my knees to bend for landing, but my legs only complied at the very last moment. My bicycle landed roughly on the ground. I pressed on the brakes and finally came to a stop. Fortunately, my bicycle had good suspension, and I was not injured.  I got off my bicycle and collapsed on the ground, exhausted. My chest heaved as I gulped in breath after breath of air.

              The bulldog grabbed a stick in its mouth and trotted up to me, playfully prodding me with the stick. I finally understood. It only wanted to play.

              Too weary to cycle further, I took the stick from the dog and threw it, just wanting the creature to leave. To my surprise, as the dog returned with the stick in its mouth; I felt a warmth in my chest. I realised that dogs were not bad after all.

              I spent the next hour playing catch with the dog.

              I discovered that this did not have to be a nasty experience — I was just frightening myself.  However, I had managed to overcome this nasty experience — as well as my hatred for dogs.

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