01-The_string_around_the_dog

01-The_string_around_the_dog - The string around the dog...

Info icon This preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
The string around the dog The candy bar was promising a mouth thick with chocolate and caramel. It offered a sugary refuge, a distraction, brief but complete. But when the boy moved his hands in his pockets there was no welcome sound of coins. The shopkeeper said, Boy run along or pay up, so he made his way home. The streets smelled like sewage, its stink cut through the bitter cold, and he tried to hold his breath. He reached the hill and was forced to hold the sleeves of his navy jacket against his nose. The cold was making him sniffle and he knew Umma would be angry. She only washed his uniform once a week, on Sunday when he did not have school. Some of the wealthier boys at school had more than one pair of jacket and pants; these boys were first rank. First rank meant you got to sit close to the radiators and got to play foot ball. If you were in first rank, you were one from a yangban family , noble class, or you were strong or very smart. But the boy was none of these things; he was second rank. Second rank meant you had to do whatever first rank said. But on this day these things were not troubling the boy. One of the first rank boys, Chang-Seok, who everyone said was the most decent, had taken a liking to him. Someone had kicked the ball too far and the boy had fetched it and given it to Chang- Seok, the team captain and first-rate goalkeeper. Thanks, he had said and flashed his clean smile. When it was time to go inside, Chang-Seok ran past him with some of his friends, and given him a friendly slap on the shoulder. It was this gesture of friendship he was remembering so intently while taking off his shoes to go inside. He almost stepped in before realizing that his parents were having a loud argument. His hand froze at he door. He knew what was waiting for him. The time he’d spent salivating over the candy
Image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
bar cost him precious minutes; he was already past due. Abba did not take kindly to latecomers. In truth, his Abba never took to him kindly. Their small corner store had not been doing well lately. Abba and Umma were both shouting. She about his inability to make money, his no-good brother who was always borrowing from what little savings they had. He about how little work she did, watching her soaps all day and all he asked for was a clean house and a nice dinner. Then she would get quiet and menacing and ask haven’t I slaved for you, haven’t I given you a son. It would only get worse the moment the boy stepped inside. Yes, this son, his Abba would say, never looking at him. This no good son you’ve given me. But the boy did not step inside. He knew he would have to come home eventually and when he did he would get the beating of his life. He turned around anyway, back onto the street. Maybe some of Chang-Seok’s bravado had rubbed off on him; the boy felt ready for anything. And it was this feeling that brought an idea to his mind. Today he would go to the grain mill, where some of the first rank boys went to smoke American cigarettes and plan their next adventure. Chang-Seok would be there and perhaps this was
Image of page 2
Image of page 3
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

{[ snackBarMessage ]}

What students are saying

  • Left Quote Icon

    As a current student on this bumpy collegiate pathway, I stumbled upon Course Hero, where I can find study resources for nearly all my courses, get online help from tutors 24/7, and even share my old projects, papers, and lecture notes with other students.

    Student Picture

    Kiran Temple University Fox School of Business ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    I cannot even describe how much Course Hero helped me this summer. It’s truly become something I can always rely on and help me. In the end, I was not only able to survive summer classes, but I was able to thrive thanks to Course Hero.

    Student Picture

    Dana University of Pennsylvania ‘17, Course Hero Intern

  • Left Quote Icon

    The ability to access any university’s resources through Course Hero proved invaluable in my case. I was behind on Tulane coursework and actually used UCLA’s materials to help me move forward and get everything together on time.

    Student Picture

    Jill Tulane University ‘16, Course Hero Intern