We were playing a game of hide and seek. Our house was being built around us and the the hiding spots were in a constant state of flux, if flux can ever be constant which is an interesting problem—I don’t know, can it?—but not one I was contemplating at the time. I was four years old, we were in Surrey, and I was searching for my older brother and a girl from the neighbourhood who always came over and was very good at hiding.
I found her finally in the basement, behind a curtain covering a cellar, and when she was discovered she screamed loudly in delight. Mitzy, our dog, a thin white poodle, had been accompanying me during the search, and she was right beside me when the girl screamed. Mitzy misunderstood. Mitzy bit the girl from the neighbourhood on the arm. The girl screamed again, this time in pain and fright, which brought adults who, when they saw the blood, summoned my father. It was his house everyone was building. My dad said nothing and looked at no one. My dad grabbed Mitzy by the collar. He dragged her upstairs. He dragged her outside, over the dirt where a lawn would soon go, and he threw her into the car. He burnt rubber peeling out of the driveway. He returned a few hours later, but Mitzy was not with him. No one mentioned Mitzy again.