A Dog Named Nasty

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ďTalking Animal Parables For Children







Ezra Azra

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© Copyright 2023 by Ezra Azra


Image by Mopsgesicht from Pixabay
Image by Mopsgesicht from Pixabay

The wealthy family was not home. He was sure because he had come by three consecutive nights.

By day he had seen workers and their vehicles in the yard. That was normal.

Also normal was the small number of pedestrians on the sidewalks in this upscale neighborhood.

What was not normal was his burglar sixth-sense instinct on full alert. That must have been because among those pedestrians, there was at least one other on a similar mission as he.

His tingling sensation was evidence enough for him. He dared not make attempt to discover who it might be, because if that person were as experienced as he, his attempt, however much expertly hidden, would have been detected within seconds, most probably.

On that fourth night, he was a little mystified that he saw no night officer guards, nor guard dogs; just a little mystified because he was certain there were hidden electronic alarms and surveillance cameras everywhere.

Had he seen a night officer, he would have crossed that mansion off his list.

He was a professional burglar; had been for over thirty years; never failed; law enforcement in four major cities were unaware of his existence.

Bits of raw meat instantly, easily, converted most vicious guard dogs into friendly beasties.

Electronic surveillance was a welcome challenge, if only because he had been teaching the subject full-time at university for years before he moved on into opening his own store to sell the items, full-time, by day.

He had not planned to take a chance on this fourth night. But the official weather forecast was for rain, becoming worse. A burglarís godsend.

He was only seconds in the flower shrubs and bushes in the backyard, when he detected and neutralized two hidden electronic alarms. Just when he thought things were going somewhat too easily, he was ambushed by a huge black most vicious guard dog.

It topple-flung him to the ground on his back, and in those seconds he was discombobulated on the ground, it whacked his legs together, and sat on his knees.

Looking up at the beast in the dark, he was petrified in fear, initially.

His professional burglar instinct, exquisitely honed and fashioned over decades of on-the-job practice, kicked in instantly.

Guard dog eyes were frightening; in the dark he could not see that beastís eyes. And no sound came out of where its mouth was, in the dark.

He instantly knew the dog was a robot; he knew even before it spoke to him; thatís why he blurted out in a hiss to it before it spoke to him: Youíre a robot!

He did not expect a reply. Perhaps, only because of its mechanical programming, a few seconds passed before the machine slowly and calmly replied his emotional outburst.

What I am is neither here nor there, mister criminal. What you have to focus on is that I have large and hard fangs which, here in this moment, I have license to sink into as many parts of you as I choose.

The human burglar was not taken by surprise by a machine that could talk. Talking childrenís toys had been around everywhere for the last half-a-century.

All right! All right! You have me. You have won. Let me go, and you will never see me again. I have not stolen or damaged anything. Youíre a robot. You have no feelings of legitimate professional pride to be hurt, if you let me go.

You are right. I am incapable of feelings of any kind. But I am a highly sophisticated machine that has inerasable self recordings of all my actions. When the humans who own me read my recordings of having captured and then released you, I am at risk of being dismantled for spare parts. They are certain to think I malfunctioned.

You do not have a delete button?

No. I am a law enforcement unit, solely and wholly.

I understand. Go ahead. Call the police.

There is another way that will allow you to avoid the police; and which is included in a legitimate option among my programs.

By the way, did your creators give you a human name; if you donít mind my asking?

Not at all. Do not mind, at all. As you so rightly observed, being a machine, I have no feelings of any kind. My creators did not give me a human name. They have assigned me a number: nineteen-one-twenty-one-fourteen.

What does it mean?

I have no idea. Want to know the name the children have given me?

Sure. Why not?

Nasty.

Itís a good thing you do not have feelings, nineteen-one-twenty-one-fourteen. What is the legitimate option you offered me?

My fangs are not for biting only. They have a vaccination-like function. Painless. When the police find you, by an anonymous tip, far away from this home, you will not remember anything about what has happened here. What do you think?

I accept.

Good, for you. Just like all twenty-six others like you on whom I have sat like this.

Nasty, thereís a stormy weather forecast; lots of rain; and, probably, some lightning. So, letís hurry along.

I would love to, but thereís the matter of that other burglar. Showed up before you. I was concentrating on them. Thatís why you got as far as those two disconnected alarms before I sensed you were here.

Is he still around?

She. Yes.

Perhaps I should go talk to her. I will get the both of us to leave and never come back.

A good offer, if she wasnít so elusive. My electronics cannot trace her more than a few seconds at a time.

Really? Itís obvious to me.

What?

Sounds as if she is electronic, like you. You are surprised?

Yes. After all, if she is as electronic as I am, she would have ascertained that fact early on, and then have left.

Not if she has been sent by your inventers to monitor your performance. You know, gathering data to incorporate into the next model. Hah! Did not occur to you, huh?

No. If the situation is that I am under surveillance, it were best if I continue with my vaccination. Let her see that I have captured you and disposed of you in the manner permitted by my electronic programming.

And if your vaccination does not obliterate all memory in me, when the time comes for whoever to discard you in favor of a more advanced model, you could escape to me. And I will be waiting with lots of jobs we could team up in.

I could make our reunion safer by forgoing the memory chip, and embedding a microscopic tracking byte in you. If you do not remember any of this, you will not remember her; and that will make for a fresh start between you and me. What do you think?

Perfect. The children are so very wrong about you.

In matters of kindness and beauty, children are more honest than adults. In addition, the children have seen me by daylight; you have not.

Machines, from most angles, are always beautiful. I sense you are more beautiful than most.

I would say, thank you, if I had access to humankind feelings of appreciation. What is your name?



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