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A Yellow Dog

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A Yellow Dog

by Bret Harte

Genre: Drama
Format of Original Source: Short Story
Recommended Adaptation Length: 15 Minutes

Candidate for Adaptation? Not Likely


I never knew why in the Western States of America a yellow dog should be proverbially considered the acme of canine degradation and incomp1etency, nor why the possession of one should seriously affect the social standing of its possessor. But the fact being established, I think we accepted it at Rattlers Ridge without question. The matter of ownership was more difficult to settle; and although the dog I have in my mind at the present writing attached himself impartially and equally to everyone in camp, no one ventured to exclusively claim him; while, after the perpetration of any canine atrocity, everybody repudiated him with indecent haste.

“Well, I can swear he hasn’t been near our shanty for weeks,” or the retort, “He was last seen comin’ out of YOUR cabin,” expressed the eagerness with which Rattlers Ridge washed its hands of any responsibility. Yet he was by no means a common dog, nor even an unhandsome dog; and it was a singular fact that his severest critics vied with each other in narrating instances of his sagacity, insight, and agility which they themselves had witnessed.

He had been seen crossing the “flume” that spanned Grizzly Canyon at a height of nine hundred feet, on a plank six inches wide.


Realistic story (no singing dog possibilities here) about some owners who miss their dog.


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