Bubbas Goes to Afghanistans

My husband is an amazing writer and don’t even attempt to play against him in Scrabble. He will crush and own you. He is a national spelling bee champion after all. I can’t help but smile as I type that because it is so unbelievably nerdy and so undeniably true.

Even when he writes silly short stories I am amazed at his writing. Below is a sample of his *silly* writing that he sent my way the other evening. There are a few things to know before you read the story:

  1. We call Rider a plethora of names one of which is “Bubba”
  2. Rider calls Matty K and me “Momma and Poppa”
  3. We tend to give Rider a funny voice and even speak on his behalf when we are together…don’t judge. We’re cool.
  4. Earlier this year I started giving Rider a voice where he pluralized a lot of words when they shouldn’t be (case in point: title of this blog post); it’s almost like Gollum in Lord of the Rings minus the strange breathing, raspy voice, smile, and general creepiness. It makes me and Matt laugh. Don’t judge. It’s free entertainment.
  5. Rider loves Matt a ton. Whenever he leaves he will wait at the door around the time Matt would normally come home. He will do this for about a week and it breaks my heart every time he runs to the door because he thinks he hears something.
  6. I love this story because it captures the loyalty of dogs to humans.
  7. Dogs. Mean. The. World. To. Me. They always have and they always will…especially my RiRi who makes me and Matty *very* happy.

Without further ado I present to you a short story by Matty K, Bubbas Goes to Afghanistans.

Once upon a time, there was a black and white Border Collie named “Rider.” He was usually a good boy, but sometimes he was very naughty and enjoyed licking electrical outlets and pooping in the neighbor’s well-manicured lawn. He loved his momma and poppa very much; especially his momma, who rescued him from jail with all the loud dogs and scary smells. Like his poppa, his favorite food in the whole wide world was bacon, although sometimes grass, blueberries, toilet paper, used Kleenex, and occasionally carrots were good too. He had funny ears that made him look like a little boy, black spots on his paws, and a big white chest. He loved walks and hikes, and chasing his poppa down the mountain when they went snowboarding. But what he loved most of all was laying on the guest bed in front of them picture window. From there, he could see the whole wide world, which he considered his kingdom. From his perch, he could yell at anyone he thought was trespassing.

“Bawooooo! Bawoowoowoooooo!” he’d bark: “Hey! Heyheyhey! That’s myyyyy yard!”

One day, Poppa had to leave and go very far away, to a place calledb Afghanistan. Rider was very sad, and wondered when Poppa might come home.

“Mommas,” he asked one day after Poppa was gone, “Where is Afghanistans?”

“Afghanistan,” Momma corrected.

“Aff-gan-i-stan,” Rider replied.

“It’s very far away, bubba. On the other side of the world, in fact.”

“What’s it like theres,” he asked with his head cocked to the side, an inquisitive look in his eyes.

“Very hot, Rider. You wouldn’t like it there.”

Rider considered this. His coat was indeed very black, and when he lived in Arizona-land, the sun was quite cruel to him. But, oh, how he missed Poppa! So he made up his mind. He would find his Poppa in Afghanistans, and bring him home to Momma.

One day, after breakfast, and after a quick poop in the backyard, Rider wrote a note to Momma by using his nose on the sliding door glass. It read:

Mommas. I am going to find Poppas in Afghanistans. I will be home when I find him. Don’t worry – I am a bright boy and can do it. I’m a Border Collie after all!

In his heart, he knew Momma would understand. So when she opened the front door to check the mail, he slipped past her, ran down the driveway, down the block, and towards the water just as fast as he could go! Behind him, he could hear her calling: “Rider! Riiiiiiiderrrrrrr!” But he knew he had to keep going.

He found a big boat thingy. There were strange-smelling men all around. He couldn’t smell Poppa, but he knew Afghanistans was someplace strange, so what the heck! I bet it smells like these guys, he thought, and stole aboard the boat. He hid for a long time, but then he really had to pee, so one night he snuck out on deck. But then a man saw him, and yelled, “Dog!”

Rider was very nervous the men would make him go home. But once Rider explained what he was doing, the men agreed to take him on their long journey over the water. The men thought he was a very brave dog to go on such an adventure. They fed him fish as they mended their nets, and told him stories about pirates and gold.

After a long time, they came to a strange land, the end of their journey. As Rider trotted off the boat, the men said, “Goodbye Rider! Good luck finding your Poppa!” It was a strange place indeed. It was very hot, and sometimes smelled like the house after Poppa made curry

for dinner. He asked another dog, “Which way to Afghanistans?” But the dog just stared at him, then pointed towards the setting sun. So Rider trotted off in that direction. After many days trotting along, Rider still couldn’t smell Poppa. He was very hot, and tired from all sun and running. He was very hungry, and he missed Momma and Poppa very much. He ran partly up a mountain, but then found some shade next to a mud house, and lay down. He curled up, very sad and homesick, and fell asleep.

“Excuse me.”

Rider uncurled and looked up. He was dreaming about Momma and Poppa in the kitchen, and how he liked to lay in the kitchen door and stare at them.

“Excuse me, Mr. Doggie.” It was a little girl, and in her hands was a bowl of water. “Mr Doggie, would you like some water?”

Rider nodded, and she placed the bowl near him. He lapped up the water appreciatively.

“Are you hungry?”

“I haven’t eaten in forevers,” he replied.

She left, and came back with some food in her dirty little hands.

“What’s your name?”

“Riders,” he said. He ate his food quickly as the little girl waited patiently. He ate too quickly, and burped.

“Excuse me,” he said, “Buts, do you know wheres Afghanistans is?”

“You’re in Afghanistan, Mr. Riders,” she said.

“Do you know where my Poppas is?” He explained that Poppa flies on helicopters and saves peoples lives when they get hurt. Her eyes got very wide and she pointed.

“I don’t know your Poppas, but I know that many days walking in that direction, there are helicopters.”

“Reallys? Thank yous, little girl! I have to go now. I need to see my Poppas!”

“Good luck!” she called after him.

Rider ran off in the direction she pointed. The days grew long and warm, and soon, he surrounded by desolate desert. But on he went, occasionally stopping to sniff some garbage when he found people. He ran until he could no longer run, and finally found a river. The riverbanks were lush with greenery and trees and strange places to pee. He was getting a

drink of water when a dark man with a long black beard pulled up on a motorcycle.

“You’re coming with me, dog. You are now my prisoner.”

Rider, never one to disagree with anyone, dutifully followed him. The man smelled very angry and his beard was very long. The man locked him up in a dark mud room.

Rider was very scared. How was he supposed to find Poppas now? All this way, for nothing. He lay down in a corner and wished he was back home. Days passed, and all he got was a bowl of water once in a while. His tummy growled. Don’t these Taliban guys know to feed puppies, he thought?

One night, he dreamed he was back home with both Momma and Poppa. It was just after breakfast, and Poppa fed him some of the leftover bacon grease. They were going to take him for a double-u-a-el-kay, he just knew it! But then he was awoken by the sounds of men shouting in a terrible tongue. Something was happening. Then he heard the roar of a helicopter landing nearby. Rider thought he smelled something familiar.

Was it? Could it be?

The door burst open, and there was Poppa!

Rider ran up and was so excited to see him, that he peed a little. Poppa brought two helicopters and a bunch of his friends, and had the bad men tied up with bags over their heads. Poppa scratched Rider’s ears and kissed him on the head.

“Poppa, I missed you so much, I had to come find you!”

“I know, Bubbas. I’m so glad I found you. Let’s get out of here.”

So Rider and Poppa and Poppa’s friends all got on the helicopters and flew back home to Momma, who met them with a big smile and a biscuit for Rider.

The End.


6 thoughts on “Bubbas Goes to Afghanistans

  1. I read this story to your Dad this morning, we both loved it! I could clearly see Rider throughout the story, it made me want to draw what I was seeing in my mind. Great job Poppa!

  2. good story matchu! the komatsus have a tradition about writing about their animals. i wrote and illustrated “clara goes home” when i was a kid, and then “clara climbs mt fuji” illustrated by lyd when she was age 4 or so.: mom and i started writing a story for motto on skype the other day, but we renamed him “punjab” and called it “Punjab went to Amnedebab and became a taxi driver, but had a lot of panic attacks because of all the loud noises.” i think matt’s stories have more depth…(:

  3. Matt and Jen, This is so great! I think Rider will become famous. I am glad you sent the link. Maybe we could all put our heads together on children’s stories, we have an illustrator. My idea for Motto becoming Punjab came into my head when I saw a little slum boy pet a starving stray dog who looked like Motto. It was the only kindness I had seen so far towards these dogs and most look like Motto!

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