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But five minutes into the chase, I slowed down. I was breathless. Frankly, it was exhausting, all that screaming and running from a dog that I wasn’t even scared of. Two more minutes passed, and I gave up. Panting, I watched my friends disappear around the curve. Then I turned around.
The dog stopped in its tracks. It scampered up to me, circling my legs, sniffing my hands and clothes. I looked over my shoulder again, just in case. No one was there.
I stomped my foot. I pointed an angry finger at the shaggy canine.
“Go away,” I said in a loud whisper. “I’m not your friend! Go away! Now!”
But the dog jumped up, trying to play.
I folded my arms across my chest.
“No! no! no!” I said in a way even a dog could understand. Chastened, it scampered off into the woods.
I was tired. Pretending to be afraid was draining. But later, as my friends recounted their tale of horror to the other girls of the colony, I joined the conversation. I told them of how I had escaped the terrible dog by hiding in the shed of the neighbor’s bungalow, just in the nick of time. One more second and the despicable creature would have had me for supper. I was every bit as afraid of dogs as they were. I was a good Jew.
In September we returned to the city, and a few days later, I began fifth grade.