It was my turn to feed the dogs. My three sisters and I took turns feeding them, and it was my turn. I was nineteen years old, and home from college for fall break to hang out with my high-school sweetheart. I mean to see my family. Rebecca (my girlfriend) and I were on our way out to dinner, and I decided to stop by our shed and feed two very excited puppy dogs.

I shouldn’t call it a shed. It was actually an unfinished 2-car garage that my dad had promised my mom she could use for storage. Of course my mom never got to use it for storage because my dad used it as another place to store construction materials for his company. It’s also where we kept our four-wheelers, the tractor, and a few random pieces of red scaffolding. Every time my mom used to drive by the shed she used to tell me, “Daniel, if there’s one lesson I want you to learn from that shed it’s this: if you add new space, you fill new space.” The garage or shed or whatever I should call it, was also home to about 1 million black widow spiders! Sometimes I made it a game to see how many I could find and kill.

Next to the shed was a fenced in area for the dogs. It was nice. My dad had used white picket fencing, and had hand-built both doghouses with real 2 by 4’s and shingles. Also, unlike most dog yards, the area stayed somewhat grassy. In fact, the grass grew so well in there that I had to mow it more often than the rest of the yard. But that’s a side note.

At that time of the incident, we had two dogs. One was a beautiful pure-bread collie named Golden. The other was a black lab and wiener dog mix named Lilly. Although we bought Golden, we found Lilly hanging around our house one day and decided to keep her. She was the funniest looking dog I’ve ever seen. Black fur, short legs, yet with the face of a lab. Her ears nearly dragged the ground, not because she had big ears, but because she had normal lab-sized ears on her small little body.

Golden and Lilly were best friends and loved to roamed the 75 acres I grew up on. Every time I would see them running through the pasture together I would laugh because Golden would prance high and mighty over the tall wispy grass while Lilly couldn’t be seen. All you could see was the grass moving behind Golden as Lilly tried to follow. Every once in a while you would see her face as she jumped to try and stay with Golden. Unfortunately, her vertical leap was about two inches short of vertical so her head never did clear the tall wispy grass. I have no idea how she managed to keep up.

Back to the story: I stepped out of the car and walked into the shed where the dogfood was kept. Feeling the wall for the light switch, I found it and pushed it up. Two strips of white fluorescent lights attached to the ceiling buzzed, blinked, and turned on. I looked around for a big plastic souvenir cup that I had overpaid for at a minor league baseball game which I used to scoop dog food. I couldn’t find the cup, and assumed that it must be in the bottom of the trashcan that holds the food.

I removed the sealed lid of the can, and stuck my head and arm into the trashcan. And there it was. A big, hairy, gray possum playing dead in the bottom of the trashcan. And that’s when it happened, that’s when I screamed like a girl. I screamed, pushed over the trashcan, and ran away from the shed like someone who had just been stung by a bee.

At that point, Rebecca opened her door to see what’s the matter, and I noticed a big smile on her face.

“Are you laughing at me?” I asked, my heart beating out of my chest.

“Yes!” She said and she dissolved into uncontrollable laughter.

Just then, the possum ran out of the trashcan, and Rebecca got back in the car.

“See! You would have been scared too!” I said.

“Oh I know that!” She said. “But even I wouldn’t have screamed that loud.”

And on that note I picked up the trashcan, filled the dog bowls with food, and we drove off on our date together.

To this day, Rebecca still loves to bring up that story.

Have you ever screamed like a girl? [Or for the girls] Have you ever screamed like a guy? Comment below and continue the discussion…

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