Warning: The following contains matters of an adult subject, filthy words, and risk of depression.
Read at your own risk.
"Once social change begins, it cannot be reversed. You cannot uneducate the person who has learned to read. You cannot humiliate the person who feels pride. You cannot oppress the people who are not afraid anymore. We have seen the future, and the future is ours." - Cesar Chavez
The bitch squatted low and pissed against the root of the tree as she had been trained to do. The night was in fall and her naked skin was covered in chill bumps, easily seen when she could overcome the shaking. Steam warmed her flat belly and passed along, disappearing as it rose to her unkempt brown hair.
"Hurry up, you fucking bitch!" shouted the owner, at the other end of the leash that hung around the bitch's throat. The girl looked up, a whimper in her eyes. She was eight that day, and on her birthday walk. She was human.
"Are you done?" her overweight owner asked in a demanding voice, glowering down at her. The girl nodded and began to walk again. "Don't fucking pull! How many times have I told you not to pull?" The girl on the leash was silent, staring blankly at her hands, which she was walking on with learned precision.
"Well?" the woman shouted. Her bitch looked up. "Aren't you going to go? Or do you plan to sit out in the cold all night?"
The girl began plodding along, glancing around at the world she saw but once a month, and then rushed with the other pets-- human and animal.
A few yards along, the girl twitched and something fell on the sidewalk. The woman with the leash, the fat owner, yanked her back. A soft yelp escaped the girl as she fell on to her side, slightly choked.
"Do you see that?!" the woman shrieked, pointing a finger at the pile of shit in the middle of the concrete. "Do you see what you fucking did, you fucking pig? You're worse than the dogs, you fucking bitch! The dogs learn, that they do!"
There was warning enough in the woman's gleaming eyes to clearly say what she planned. The owner grabbed the girl by her tawny hair and shoved her face in the shit. She twisted the thick lump of hair and shook it, twisted it, anything to get the excrement all over the girl's face.
After a minute, she pulled the girl free. "Do you understand?" the owner shouted. The girl began to cry, giant tears welling up in her amber eyes. "I said do you fucking understand, bitch?!" The girl shook her head fiercely until the woman released her hair.
They began to walk again until they turned a corner. A cop, all in blue, glanced at them while they were in the lamp light. "Shit-faced, huh? You better keep her under control or else she'll have to be put down in the future. Old whores can't learn new tricks, the saying goes." The girl whimpered at the mention of being put down.
"She'll learn," promised the owner, yanking the leash closer. "Tonight she'll be sleeping with the dogs in the kennel, I promise you."
The cop nodded approvingly. "A good choice. Maybe she'll learn. Not all do, you know."
The woman laughed appreciatively. "Oh, don't I! The bitches and bastards are worth a bit on the market though, when grown correctly. So, of course I put my best foot forward and try my best with them."
"Have a good night," the cop wished and passed by.
"You too," the owner said and went on her way.
I had been on the woman's same path since we lived in the same neighborhood, and stopped to listen to the short conversation silently, but now put in my two cents. "You're doing a good job," I said. "A firm hand always works, except in extreme conditions. Bad behavior needs to be punished."
I finished my walk and looked back at how well our community was doing in keeping their pets trained.