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You can never really know a person properly. No matter how much you see or speak to a person, you don't know what they're really like. I realized this after witnessing a certain incident which I still shudder at the memory of...
That day I had an extremely important meeting with the director of our company's new branch in Manchester. I had woken up early to ensure that I wouldn't be late. After finishing my Weetabix, I grabbed my briefcase and left the house. As I was walking through the front garden I heard my name being called. I turned around and saw my neighbor, Mrs. Honeywell. She was a sweet old widow who lived with her little terrier, Crumble. Mrs. Honeywell loved Crumble and treated him like a god.
"Good morning, Mr. Thatcher," she smiled.
"Good morning to you too, Mrs. Honeywell," I smiled back.
"And how is Crumble today?" I asked politely, bending down to pat his head.
"Oh he's just fine, aren't you darling?" she cooed, addressing Crumble.
"Well Mrs. Honeywell, I'd better get going or I'll be late," I told her.
"Goodbye Mr. Thatcher," she called as she went into her house. I got into my car and left for Heathrow airport.
On my way to the airport, I rummaged through my briefcase for my passport and found that it wasn't there. Then I remembered that it was on the mantelpiece at home. I swore and turned the car around. When I got home I rushed into the living room and grabbed my passport off the mantelpiece. As I turned to go, I heard a strange sound. I knew that I should ignore it and go, otherwise I'd be late but I was too curious. I walked towards the source of the sound. I followed it all the way to the back garden. The noise was getting louder and I could also hear a strange cry. The strange sounds seemed to be coming from Mrs. Honeywell's garden.
I peered cautiously into her garden and a horrendous sight met my eyes. Mrs. Honeywell was whipping Crumble, her darling dog, with a belt! I was so shocked that I became rooted to the ground, unable to speak or move.
"I'm going to kill you, you scheming murderer!" hissed Mrs. Honeywell in an evil voice. Crumble's body was bleeding in at least ten different places; his fur was matted to his body. My evil neighbor whipped her poor dog again and he yelped loudly, bringing me out of my trance.
"Mrs. Honeywell, what are you doing?!" I cried desperately. Mrs. Honeywell looked up at me innocently and smiled.
"Back already, Mr. Thatcher?" she asked sweetly. My mouth fell open.
'What is wrong with her?' I thought. Mrs. Honeywell whipped poor Crumble again and he yelped so pitifully that I jumped over the fence and tried to grab the belt off her.
I didn't think that anyone so old and frail could wrestle so fiercely.
"Give me...back my...belt...I have to...kill him...he killed...my...darling Dave!" sobbed Mrs. Honeywell, as I took the belt off her.
"What?!" I exclaimed. Now I was thoroughly confused. Mr. Honeywell had died of a heart attack. I turned to look at the old lady. She was sitting on the floor now weeping and rocking herself back and forth like a child.
"He killed my Dave," she kept saying in between sobs.
I phoned the RSPCA; they arrived almost immediately and began treating Crumble's wounds. As for Mrs. Honeywell, it turned out that she was suffering from schizophrenia. No one would have guessed that this sweet old lady was mentally ill or that she was capable of whipping a dog.
I ended up missing my meeting in Manchester, but my boss didn't hold it against me for too long. Crumble lives with me now. I visit Mrs. Honeywell every week at St.Peters Mental Hospital. Every time I see her she asks me, "How is my darling Crumble?"
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