Two Paws and a Yellow Blanket


I can’t remember when I learned about death.

I do remember the first dead thing I saw. It was a couple of paws sticking out from under a yellow blanket.

I didn’t take the bus to school much in those days, I could have walked from home. But, for a reason I can’t remember, a bus is where I was.

We all saw those two dead paws. No one on the bus was older than ten. I was five, maybe. One girl started crying and one boy said, “it’s a dog!”

The next thing we saw was the UPS truck, parked. The UPS man was pacing back and forth. I remember he had a mustache, even if he didn’t. I remember Mother said something about him peeing in beer bottles, or maybe that was the next one, when we moved and I had to take the bus more often.

The blanket was dirty. We were close to the school and the buses were lined up. So, we got a good look. They were black paws. They were the talk of the school. But, I wasn’t there long. I was called to The Office. Mother was there, she was crying.

It was then that I recognized those paws. They had a name.

“Puck is dead,” I was told.

“The UPS man did it,” I was told.

I didn’t say anything about the paws. I know I must have cried because they took me out of school. When I got home, those paws were in the trunk of the car under the same dirty yellow blanket. We drove them to a place in town where a man–who might also have had a mustache–took those paws and hid them in a big black trash bag.

That was the last time I saw them. I don’t remember following the man, but we must have because I remember standing on the edge of a giant pit full of black trash bags. The man flung the bag of paws into the pit. It rolled.

I know we got back to the car, back home, an emptier home. But, I don’t remember asking about death.

So, I must have already known, somehow.



  1. This is a very sad story that you will surely remember forever. With me it was also our dog. But I was already 18 and we buried him in the garden. That makes a difference. A very interesting question about how children understand death, when nobody told them about it.


  2. I can remember my first experience my great grandma died when I was real young so I thought only old people died until my Aunt died at 16 and I was 13 myself and brothers and sisters world was turned upside down.. Great post by the way..

    Liked by 1 person

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