Episode the Third: Little Dot and the Dog That Thinks Hes a Horse

By: Mr. E. S. Stranger

There once was a little girl named Dot, and she was described more thoroughly in two other stories. And she had a companion named Funny Bunny.

Little Dot loved to play in faraway lands, which greatly worried her mother. Sometimes Dot would be entire blocks away; at these times, she would often be accompanied by her brother the gorilla, who frightened away all dangerous creatures by beating his chest. But sometimes she only had Funny Bunny, who was content to hide in Dot's pocket.

One day, Dot was on a long journey to the unexplored lands Down the Street. Funny Bunny was with her, hiding in her pocket. Suddenly she saw a strange sight. A big black dog was coming up the sidewalk, and he appeared to be trotting. When he got to Dot, he reared up and snorted when he landed.

"Whose dog are you?" asked Little Dot.

The dog was indignant. "I'm not a dog. I'm a horse."

"No," replied Dot. "You're a dog."

"But I'm far too big to be a dog," said the dog. "That can't be what I am."

Dot thought about this. "Well, you are very big, but...I still think you're a dog."

"Well, let me show you," said the dog. He led Dot to an enclosure near someone's house in which there was a horse. "I can speak Horse," he said, and he spoke to the horse. "Am I a dog?"

"Nay," said the horse.

"And am I anything but a horse?" the dog asked.

"Nay," said the horse.

"And should anyone believe I'm not a horse?"

"Nay," said the horse.

Dot clapped. "Yay! You can speak horse."

A voice came from her pocket. "Wait!" said Funny Bunny. "That seemed too easy. Let me try." Funny Bunny cleared his throat and addressed the horse. "Horse," he began, "what is the state capital of Iowa?"

There was no response from the horse. "Maybe that was too hard," Funny Bunny decided. "Okay-Horse, what is four more than six?"

The horse snorted, rolled its eyes, and walked away.

"Wow," Dot said to the dog. "You really can speak Horse. You must be one. I need to show you to my family."

That got the dog exited. "Great! Let's go!"

Dot climbed on the dog's back, much to the dog's surprise. His legs wobbled. Funny Bunny sat near the neck.

"Giddyap!" said Dot, and slowly, weakly, the dog moved forward. Funny Bunny shouted at the dog as they went.

"Faster! Faster, I say! Hya! Like the wind, you mangy steed!"

The dog got them to Dot's house, at Dot's direction, as best he could. Dot and Funny Bunny got off, Dot opened the door, and the dog collapsed. Dot disappeared and reappeared at the door with her brother the gorilla, who looked skeptical. Funny Bunny had fashioned himself a crude sash out of grass and, wearing this over his mouth, was trying to goad the exhausted dog into action.

"Look," said Dot, pointing to the dog. "That dog's a horse."

Her brother rolled his eyes.

"No, really," Dot went on. "Watch. Okay, horsedog. Say something in Horse."

The dog opened his mouth. Out came a loud "Woof!" The dog looked around to see who had done that. Dot's brother just stared, unamused.

"Can I keep him?" Dot asked.

"No," her brother replied, going back inside.

Dot shrugged and let the dog inside anyway. Her brother wasn't her mother, so only 'yes' answers counted for anything.

Dot's mother noticed the dog quickly. She told Dot to take the dog back out and not to let strange dogs in the house, but Dot pestered her and pestered her and pestered her and pestered her and pestered her and pestered her and pestered her and pestered her and pestered her and pestered her and pestered her and...

Finally Dot's mom agreed to keep the dog on the condition that they get the dog a tag, a collar, and shots and that Dot take care of him. This pleased Dot greatly, but the dog spent hours thinking about the shots. Funny Bunny assured the dog that each shot was no longer than a telephone pole and hardly ever barbed.

That first night, Dot and her family had steaks. Dot laid out some apple slices, oats, and carrot for the dog. The dog looked from the steaks to his dish and back again. Dot pointed at the dish.

"Eat up, horse."

"Could I have something else?" asked the dog.

"Silly, that's horse food. Aren't you a horse?"

The dog looked at his dish uncertainly. "I don't think I'm that kind of horse."

He stood around until they finished. Dot's mom gave the dog her scraps, and the dog resolved to love her forever. Later on he nibbled on some of the other stuff, but it was better suited for another sort of horse.

They named the dog Jimi. Their relationship with Jimi had its ups and downs at first. For one thing, Jimi and Dot's brother quarreled for a bit over who would be the dominant hairy beast of the house. The issue was resolved one day when, in frustration, Jimi bit Dot's brother; Dot's brother promptly bit back, hard, and the dog never tried it again.

At first they kept Jimi outside. There was only one problem with this: the dog was afraid of the dark. He started at every sound, every movement, and he would bark. Then he would bark at whatever dog had just barked, and then bark at that bark, and so on. Dot's whole family was exhausted. They kept the dog in at night, then, and there were more quarrels between Jimi and Dot's brother over space.

The dog wasn't having the best time of it, either. He had dog food to eat, finally, but it still wasn't steak. The air conditioning vents frightened him, the barking at night confused him, and he itched frequently. Dot saw him scratching himself and asked why he did it.

"It's all the dog hair you have around here," Jimi replied. "I think I'm allergic to it."

Sometimes the dog would remember that he was a horse and would have trouble going through doorways. The best way to get Jimi through the door was to annoy him; eventually he would bark, and in terror he would leap through the doorway.

One night, a burglar broke into the house. Jimi slept through this at first, but before long the burglar's path led into the living room. As he was walking toward the TV, he stepped on Jimi's tail, startling the dog awake. Jimi immediately started barking.

Jimi didn't know what was going on. He had been startled by a strange man, and now he heard a very loud dog nearby. The man decided to step toward Jimi, and Jimi heard a loud growl. Lights were going on. Jimi was afraid. Suddenly he reared up, letting out a terrifying whinny, and brought his front paws down on the man, knocking him down. The man scrambled up and ran outside. Funny Bunny raced from Dot's room and leapt on Jimi's back.

"Charge!" shouted the bunny, and Jimi dashed after the burglar. The burglar tried to get into his van, but Jimi chased him off. They chased the burglar around the block a few times before Jimi got tired and they lost him.

The family showered Jimi with praise when he returned, which Funny Bunny gladly accepted on his behalf. Thereafter, the dog that thought he was a horse was a welcome member of the household.

As for the burglar, he was found in a ditch the next day. He claimed he had been mauled by a gorilla.