By M. J. Austins

You receive the watch for your twelfth birthday. Your grandfather gives it to you. It is a wind-up watch made of dull silvery metal. You wear it for eight months, and then one day, you are walking home from school after daylight savings time, and you stop to reset it. Suddenly, the glass cracks. You frown worriedly and put it in your back pocket, sure that your father can replace the glass. You walk home, not knowing that it falls out of your pocket and is picked up by a four-year-old. You never see it again.


You teach, nothing else. Day in, day out, attempting to fill middle-school children’s heads with knowledge. He comes in late, with the excuse that he lost his watch. You give him extra homework and tell him that if it happens again, he will receive detention. He nods and takes his seat. You never hear of the incident again.


You stand on the street corner and watch a boy as he plays with his watch. He is on the other side of the street, and you almost can’t make out what he is doing. The light turns to ‘walk’ and you jog across the street. You pass him as you walk, and he nods at you. You smile at him and continue along the street. You are headed home, so you don’t pay him any attention, and don’t hear him mutter a curse as the watch cracks. You don’t see him take it off, and you don’t see him tuck it into his back pocket as he turns the corner, and you are long gone when it falls out of his pocket onto the sidewalk. You don’t see the four-year-old and her mother come out of a shop, and you don’t see the toddler pick up the watch and examine it. You make it home, and kiss your tired mother on one cheek, without the knowledge that the toddler takes the watch home, and puts it under her pillow. You head to your room to study, and never know what the watch really means.


You see the watch on the sidewalk and it is pretty. You want it so you pick it up off the street while you are shopping with your mother. You keep it under your pillow, not knowing its true worth, till one day you lose it while showing it to your neighbor.


You find it lying on the ground, so you eat it. It shatters in your mouth and hurts you and you whimper in pain. Your master comes out and speaks tenderly to you. You lie on the ground in misery. Your master makes you get up and puts you in the metal cage. You whine piteously, and she gives you a treat. You don’t eat the treat. You r mouth hurts too much. Your master picks the cage up and carries it to the monster that she rides in. She puts you inside and gets in. You don’t pay very much attention to the ride because your throat is hurting now too. It is getting harder to breath. You whine and paw at your throat.


You are a vet. One day, one of your customers brings her dog in. She tells you that the dog, Bodyguard, has eaten something. You give Bodyguard an X-ray. You discover that he has swallowed a hard object that had glass, which is now stuck in his esophagus. You will have to reach down his throat to retrieve it. You call your helper and she comes quickly. You explain the situation and she gives the dog a strong sedative to insure that he will say immobile. You put on a fresh pair of gloves and reach down his throat very carefully. You fell the object a little ways down and slowly lift it out. You remove your hand from the dog’s mouth and examine the object that the dog had eaten. It is a watch. You are shocked at the dog’s stupidity.


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