Scared of Dogs Part 2

Category: Slice of Life

She spotted the dog several houses ahead – a big scary brute of a thing, patrollingpatrolling its front yard. Her brainstembrainstem activateactivating its fight/flight reflex,reflex, she let her body follow its natural inclinationinclination in these circumstancescircumstances and crossed the road.

"You're such a chicken!" sneered Joanne. This was a departuredeparture from their normal friendly interactions.interactions. Something, some little act of favouritefavouritism or casual slight from Mrs Griffin, the piano teacher, must have triggeredtriggered it. She decided to pretend she hadn't heard and kept walking.

"Bock! Bock! Bock! Scared of a little puppy! Pathetic!"Pathetic!"  

She kept her gaze fixed on the footpath ahead. A flash of brown slipped past her peripheralperipheral vision, accompanyaccompanied by agitated growling. She turned her head just in time to witnesswitness Joanne taking to her heels, screaming and crying, running for her life with the beast snapping at her heels.

She found herself running in tandemtandem with Joanne, several metres ahead on her side of the road, screaming and laughing, one guiltyguilty little part of her thinking, "Serves her right!"


Clarify these words: brute, activating, reflex, inclination, circumstances, sneered, departure, interactions, slight, triggered, peripheral vision, agitated, witnessed, in tandem.

Retell what has happened in this Slice of Life.

What prediction can you make about what will happen next?

Make inferences or give opinions about:

  • Is 'a big scary brute of a thing' a fact or an opinion?
  • How does the fight/flight mechanism affect the narrator's next move?
  • Why was the narrator a bit surprised by Joanne's reaction to her crossing the road?
  • What does the narrator think might be behind it?
  • How does she first realise that the dog is attacking Joanne?
  • How are the girls running in tandem?
  • What kind of mixed emotions is the narrator feeling at the end?

What question could you ask about this Slice of Life?

Visualise these uses of descriptive language: patrolling its front yard; must have triggered it; you're such a chicken; a flash of brown slipped past her peripheral vision; taking to her heels.

Make a connection with this narrative so far.

Word Study

Verb endings: What happens when we add s, ed, ing to: spot, patrol, activate, decide, slip, accompany, agitate, take, run, snap.

Other affixes: What happens when we add other prefixes and suffixes like yretionurely, ism to these words: scare, flex, incline, depart, friend, favourite.

What two words make up these compound wordsahead, brainstem, footpath.