The Tale of El Guapo


Part 5

El Guapo Catches the Bus

I love mornings. It may be cold out, but the warming sun beams its way through the windows. The family begins to stir. Soon it’s time for breakfast. I get table scraps.

At the table someone is always saying, “Stop it, El Guapo, stop it.” I don’t know what that means, and I don’t like the way it sounds.

Soon it is time for the little girl to leave for school. I don’t like her to go, but she always comes home again. I want to go too, but they won’t let me.

But today is different. I am desperate to escape because I now know what she does after she walks out the door. She plays a game called catch-the-bus. I too must play catch-the-bus.

Today I hide beneath a small table, and before the little girl can leave me trapped inside, I become a discreet shadow flowing behind her past the door.

The bus is nowhere around, and rather than chance losing my freedom by becoming a spectacle, I sit down right next to the family’s favorite fencepost where I’m normally fastened with a rope. No rope today.

I watch the little girl as she waits to catch-the-bus. I’m startled when my good friend Maggy sneaks up and licks me in the ear. She comes to visit every few days, and I always rejoice to see her. She’s not at all surprised to find me standing guard at my post. She is surprised that I’m not attached to the rope.

But today we have no time to visit—here comes the bus. Maggy and I watch. Oddly, it slows to a complete stop right in front of the little girl. A narrow door opens, she steps in, the door closes.

What fun is this? Where’s the challenge? Where’s the chase? I know the little girl is slow and awkward, but this is catch-the-bus?

Suddenly the bus starts to move again. El Guapo will show everyone how the sport of catch-the-bus is played. “Watch this,” I yip to Maggy as I dart behind the fleeing bus...

It was a long time before I could go outside again. When I was finally able to go out, I just lay under the glowing sun, warming my aching bones. It was good to be outside.

It got even better because Maggy came to see me again. She said that she had been worried sick over me, and had come here everyday since the bus indecent. I really can’t remember anything more than giving chase.

While wearing her “you’re such an idiot” expression, she informed me that I had very successfully caught-the-bus. Unfortunately, a bus is quite capable of defending itself, as I found out.

It hurt so bad when Maggy made me laugh. She warned me against ever again trying to catch something so much bigger than me. Now that’s hardly possible, because I have never ever seen anything that is bigger than El Guapo. So I laughed. It was good to be among the living again.

The little girl was very happy to see me up and about. She had cried a lot. Her mother seemed happy for me too. She had cared for me, and nursed me back to health.

The girl’s father didn’t seem so pleased about my recovery though. It was at this time that he started calling me by a new nickname: El Diablo. He sometimes calls me Damien. But El Guapo does not care to be called the little rat or that monkey-brained moron. I am neither a lowly rat or a stupid monkey, and I take umbrage at being called such things.

The little girl hopes that I get all better. Her father hopes there’s a doggy-hell.

—El Guapo (rabid by choice)
(via ghost writer)

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