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A Rally for Speech
Parkville was a society of 1,500 dogs that ran away from their owners to create a dog-topia where all dogs were free and equal. They were fed-up with the humans thinking they were better. The owners didn’t like it because they loved their dogs and wanted them back, having no idea that the dogs loathed being treated worse than peasants. The owners came after them with leashes, and the dogs growled, barked, and bit to defend themselves from the awful rope. The owners were astonished that the dogs would do such a thing, but they left them alone, thinking that they would collect their sanity and come home to a loving family. The dogs loved being free more, and called their revolution The K-9 Bang.
Socrates, an old German Shepherd, and Alpha, a middle aged Rottweiler, became the two leaders in Parkville after they fought in the K-9 Bang. Alpha became Top Dog after his great efforts, and Socrates became the wise one in Parkville. Socrates’ life was almost completely the same except for one little dog named Miles who joined him in the middle of The Bang when Miles’ mother died. Socrates was the only family this young Border Collie knew he had.
For a year everything was peaceful in Parkville. Dogs lived in happy times, with the greenest grass they could play in and the best dog houses they could ever want. They had an understanding leader who took care of things and made only the rules needed to prevent crimes.
No dog shall steal or harm another living creature unless it’s a cat, rodent, or bird.
One day Alpha went out for his daily walk around Parkville. The sun was shining and everyone was happy. He walked and walked all the way to edge of Parkville. When he got there he heard two dogs talking about him.
“He doesn’t respect anyone but himself. Did you see what he did to poor Annabel yesterday? He just threw her out of his house when she did nothing. She just wanted to stop by and say hello,” said Andrew.
“I agree my friend. He is very rude to all dogs of Parkville. Alpha just walks around like he’s the king of everything, ignoring everyone and everything,” said Megan.
“This is not right.” Alpha thought. “I do respect all citizens of this city. I care about multiple items… like the well-being of Parkville. They have broken the rule of no harm coming to any living thing. They have harmed me and the being of Parkville.”
Stunned by this accusation, he decided to go back home and make a new rule that would abolish such nonsense in Parkville. Once he got home, he came into the house so mad that when he closed the door the whole house shook. To calm his anger he looked at a picture of Miles’ mother, not knowing where Miles had gone and wishing he were there. He wished that he had been able to keep in contact with Miles’ mother during The K-9 Bang.
Alpha went to his backyard, to his private study on an island surrounded by water to write his new “royal” decree, expanding the rule of no harm coming to any dog. This would make all dogs speak of happy things in medium range yips. All dogs were to keep their nasty and “untrue” thoughts and comments to themselves. As soon as he was done he told the Top Under-Dog to put up notices everywhere at midnight, no earlier or later. Alpha was very concerned about time as well as the wellbeing of Parkville.
The next day Miles, a Border Collie, and his best friend, Constance, a Cairn Terrier, went out for a walk. Miles and Constance had known each other since they were puppies and had spent almost every single minute together since. As they were padding along, tails up in the air and wagging, ears forward and listening to the sounds of Parkville, they greeted some of the kind dogs in Parkville whom they knew.
“Hey, Mr. Aristotle. How are you? Swell day isn’t it?” barked Constance.
“Howdy. Ah’m uhhh…. as wonderful as the golden rays of sunshine. Have y’all said good morning tah Alpha yet?” he replied in his confusing southern accent.
“Um… No were we supposed to?” wondered Miles aloud.
“Shhhhhh…Don’t speak like that. Anyways Ah need to get back to mah work…see y’all latuh!” Mr. Aristotle yipped happily, but his tail was slowly going down as if he were unhappy.
Miles and Constance kept walking on and stopped to talk to Ms. Delia, the prettiest poodle in Parkville.
“How’s it going Ms. Delia? You’re glittering as usual,” woofed Miles.
“Don’t speak so loud my child and thank you. I am fine today. Are you going to the assembly?” she inquired in her proper yet soothing voice.
“What assembly?” asked Constance, puzzled about why everyone was acting so odd.
“Never mind, I bet you kids have other…better activities to do. Have a good day!” Ms. Delia said as she trotted off in her pretty poodle way, but her tail was slowly going down, just like Mr. Aristotle’s.
Miles and Constance just stood there in bewilderment. Everyone was acting so strangely today, yapping and yipping, not saying what was on their minds. They kept walking down the road until they came across the notice that Alpha had sent out.
From now on, all dogs in Parkville will have to speak in medium range yips. All must keep their thoughts and comments to themselves. Those who are caught will be imprisoned in Parkville’s Prison.
Constance and Miles looked at each other in astonishment, their faces scrunched, ears pulled back and eyes wide, surprised by the new law that took away their freedom of speech. They realized that this is why all the dogs were screaming on the inside that they were unhappy, wanting to tell the whole world of their thoughts, without being thrown in the puppy prison.
“Why does it seem that Alpha is always mad?” yipped Constance in wonder. She said it full volume, ignoring what was written on the poster.
“Well, this time I think he’s really serious,” replied Miles. “He has never made a new law before.”
“I wonder why? This is really bad.” Constance agreed.
“We need to stop this. Let’s go to Uncle Socrates. He should know what we should do.”
Miles knew that Socrates would listen to the issue but wasn’t sure if he would help because of his friendship with Alpha. On the way home they came across a puppy who was being banished to puppy prison by one of Alpha’s guards for barking loudly in excitement at seeing his first squirrel.
“Yo puppy! Shut your trap and come over here. If you want to get out of puppy prison, your parents are gonna have to pay a fine of ten bones. You’re coming with us until your parents get you out of this,” said the guard.
From their hiding place behind a tree Miles and Constance watched with shocked eyes. “This is so much more worse then it seemed! I thought that it would only really apply to adults, but I see that they’re sending more than just dogs, but also innocent puppies,” Constance exclaimed.
“Come on Constance, we got to go get Socrates,” Miles whispered.
They sneaked off to Milton Street, going from bush to mailbox to fence to tree, and ran into the door before they could open it because they wanted to tell Socrates so badly. They fell back, shook their heads, and stared as Socrates opened the door. They shot like lightning through the door into Socrates, who pushed them inside while they started talking at the same time in voices like mice out of breath.
“Socrates, you gotta—“
“It’s so bad, Alpha’s—“
“A little puppy got thrown in jail—“
“Mr. Aristotle was upset—“
“Miss Delia was faking her smile—“
They were speaking so fast that Socrates barked in a tired, demanding tone, “Calm now, one at a time, slowly and loudly, my hearing is going.”
“We were on our walk today and saw something very unusual.” Constance said, while looking at the floor and rocking from side to side.
“Alpha put up this new rule that everyone hates. Can you help us fix it?” questioned Miles in an inquiring tone.
“Let me go see what is actually happening before I actually decide to do anything about it.” Socrates said in an annoyed voice, but also in disbelief. Instead of walking calmly to the door and taking a walk with Miles and Constance, Socrates just strolled off into the distance while they stayed in the doghouse, waiting to see what Socrates would find.
As Socrates was walking out and about in his usual happy mood, he started becoming more down because every dog was walking unhappily, heads and tails down. There was no energy in Parkville anymore. He then saw the same poster as Constance and Miles. Socrates knew that they were telling the truth and ran back home as fast as he could.
When he got there, he blasted through the door and yelled, “I BELIEVE YOU!!!”
They soon thought of a plan.
“ I think I’ll go and reason with him,” said Socrates.
“What?! If you’re going to speak to him I’m going with you!!!!”
“ No, Miles, you shouldn’t it will be easier if only Socrates goes. They know each other.” Constance tried, but couldn’t get Miles to agree.
“It’s fine if you come with me. Just don’t get in the way. Come on lets go.”
They briskly walked to Alpha’s door and knocked loudly. Alpha then answered the door slowly. Socrates stared intensely at him.
“Hey! What’s going on? Why do you all look so serious?” Alpha asked, while inviting them in.
“Have you gone mad? What is going on with your law making system? Dogs are no longer free to speak as they please.”
“No, that’s ok. It is the perfect rule that this city needs. Everyone in this place is rude and this is what we all need to stop it.” Alpha said.
“You can’t legally distribute manners to all of us! It is ridiculous.”
“ I think… everything is just fine in our city! You need manners, so go home and learn some.”
Miles got so infuriated that he just started going off on a rant,“ This is your friend! Why must you speak to him like that? HE has never done anything bad to you? … Only good! YOU are a rude dog! You are also turning into an evil dictator. You need to get rid of that law NOW! IT’S DESTROYING PARKVILLE!!!”
As Alpha signaled the guards he said, “You, Miles, will be locked up in prison for the next year. You broke a rule!”
“What?!” exclaimed Socrates
“Speak again and you’re going to be thrown in there along with him.”
“Shhh…. I need you to get me out. Go back to Constance and think of a new plan.” Whispered Miles.
Socrates nodded and followed Alpha’s guards out the wooden door. He raced home, and Constance took one look at him and worried.
“We need to act now.” Constance said, “Since you are such a great speaker I think that we should hold a meeting with all the dogs in Parkville so that we can figure out how we are going to get rid of this law,” Constance told Socrates.
“We must do this in secret if it is to be carried out properly or no one will ever be free of this awful curse that Alpha has brought upon Parkville! Once we have more dogs with us, we will take the next step to take back our city.” Socrates thought.
“We should use the school library.”
“That’s a wonderful idea Constance, since the elderly book club meets there every day. You spread the news!” Socrates agreed.
Later that evening all went to the library. They squeezed in. Dogs were sitting everywhere, on tables, chairs, and the floor, on top of the check out desk, even on top of bookshelves. When that room was full they squeezed into the kitchen to listen. Constance listened from outside the library from her post watching to see if any of Alpha’s guards were coming.
“ Good evening everybody! I am here before you to speak about our new but hated rule! May I remind you of our victory with the K-9 Bang that relieved us from the humans? It meant no dog shall be ruled by a tyrant. It meant rights for all. It meant, most importantly, freedom to all canines. No more masters, no more leashes or collars…and no more being treated as though we were lower beings.
“Now we have let a fellow dog, one of my close and personal friends, take away our freedom of speech. And now we are as unhappy as we were when we lived with owners. Let us go up to Alpha and demand our right back as one dog. Today Miles and myself went to go see him and Miles is now in prison.”
The dogs booed at this. “Free Miles!!!” they started yipping at once, but not too loud, for Socrates had not said when they would confront Alpha.
Socrates opened his mouth and was about to speak again, but then heard a big yelp from the other room.
“Arrrrrrrrrrfffff. My tail is on fire!!!!” It was Mr. Aristotle, who had been pushed towards the stove, somehow the burner had turned on when he knocked into it. As soon as all heard that, everyone started panicking and yelling, “Stop, drop and roll!”
Mr. Aristotle just ran with fear and toppled into a pile of books by the door. The books caught on fire and soon flames spread up the doorframe.
Everyone was howling. Constance saw the flames and smoke and knew that it was too big of a job for them to handle. The whole library was up in flames.
They started running and barking as loudly as she could while she sprinted to the fire department just a block away.
The firedogs came to help Constance with the fire, but moments later Alpha appeared. One of his guards had alerted him that they had heard loud barking above the medium range yip that was supposed to be used.
Two guards, while standing over Constance, inquired harshly, “Who did that barking belong to?”
“It was I. There is a fire, as you can see, and I were just trying to get help.”
As Constance was defending herself, the firedogs extinguished all of the flames from the library, and everyone came out safely.
When all the other dogs came out, they saw Alpha grabbing and yelling at Constance, while the firedogs were making sure everyone was okay.
Socrates exclaimed, “Alpha, WHAT are you doing? She is a hero. She mustn’t be punished for her good deed in saving half of the city. Think about if she and Miles hadn’t betrayed your law, this would have never happened. Half the town’s dogs and the school library would be gone. Furthermore, thank Miles for urging us to plan and Constance and myself, for putting everything together and making us aware of how atrocious our town would be if we had not met to say something about the law.”
Alpha paused with a puzzled look on his face. “That’s right. Miles is still in prison. Guards go bring Miles to my side at once!” He said with sadness in his voice. “I didn’t mean for this to happen.”
“Here you go, Sir. Here is Miles for your pleasure,” Said the guard, while dragging along Miles.
“Good. Miles I’m sorry I didn’t listen to you in the first place and also for putting you in jail. I see that I almost destroyed this town. I am now stepping down from my post so that my step-son, Miles, can become the new top dog.”
“What? You’re my stepfather? How could that be? I don’t have any family except Socrates.”
“Well, your mother and I were together when you were born, after your father died. She trusted me with your life, but at the time I couldn’t help because I was off with duties to attend to in The K-9 Bang.”
“…Okay then,” Miles didn’t know what to say. “If I’m going to be top dog around here, I think I’m going to need some help. Why don’t you and Socrates stick around and advise me?”
“Before I become top dog, Constance, will you take my paw in marriage?”
“Yes, of course. I was wondering when you were going to ask!”
From then on all dogs could speak how they wanted to in Parkville.
All people should have freedom of speech