Titirangi Storyteller

Telling tales from around the world

The Rakowskis’ House

with 9 comments

Before love showed up and ruined  everything, the Rakowskis had nineteen dogs and an eight-foot high chain link fence to hold those mutts back. Anyone walked by and they were all jumping up against it, barking and snarling, those steel links threatening to burst, so you feared one day they were going to give and the pack was going to light on whatever soul happened to be standing there, thinking were brave instead of ass backwards brain dead.
I include myself in that number, having lost the tippy end of my little finger when I was nine. Lilly Dollinger dared me to touch one of their noses. He promised me five whole dollars. Dog gulped it down before I knew what happened. He just laughed and never paid me a cent. Said it didn’t count as touching if the touching part got bit off.

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Written by Titirangi Storyteller

22/09/2011 at 12:54 am

9 Responses

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  1. “Didn’t count as touching if the touching part got bit off” — what a terrible rule!

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    pinkunderbelly

    22/09/2011 at 12:57 am

  2. How did you have such intimate knowledge of the Rakowski’s? Or did I misconstrue the story about love coming along? And how did you do with your pledge to never let love “ruin” your life? If my live gets ruined I hope it’s in the name of love 🙂 I would have been the Lilly in your story….sorry! I teased my little sister unmercifully (for example she was afraid of snakes so I’d chase her with them!) Thankfully she loves me to this day! This looks like a pretty scary place for kids to hang out but didn’t we all scare ourselves?

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    Happy Daze

    22/09/2011 at 1:19 am

    • This is actually from a story I have been working on – off and on – for years now. Not sure why I can’t seem to buckle down and finish it… it’s been stuck at around 100 pages for probably 10 years… It’s ‘faction’ as in fictionalised true story… The Rakowskis were real and this was really their house back in the 60s. It was very run down then. And they did have 19 dogs that I was terrified of, behind a chain link fence – but it was my best friend’s sister who had the tippy end of her finger bit off. I was absolutely fascinated by them – they seemed to exist in their own separate world. My best friend’s bedroom overlooked their house and I would spend hours spying on them, day and night – they had 13 kids who were always up to mischief…

      As for not letting love ruin my life – in retrospect, being practical was not really a better choice… and then – my second husband and I turned our worlds upside down almost literally to be together because we were so madly, passionately and truly deeply in love – and there I think love ‘saved’ my life… But when I was an adolescent, my POV was a little different… all these badly behaved grown-ups making their lives so hard over love…

      As for Lilly – he’s quite real… and quite a lovely character. I used to babysit for him when I was 13-14 and he was ten (with 4 younger brothers that he used to torment…)

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  3. How did you have such intimate knowledge of the Rakowski’s? Or did I misunderstand the story about love coming along? And how did you do with your pledge to never let love “ruin” your life? If my life gets ruined I hope it’s in the name of love 🙂 I would have been the Lilly in your story….sorry! I teased my little sister unmercifully (for example she was afraid of snakes so I’d chase her with them!) Thankfully she loves me to this day! This looks like a pretty scary place for kids to hang out but didn’t we all scare ourselves?

    Like

    Happy Daze

    22/09/2011 at 1:26 am

  4. Did your father end up leaving with Mrs. Rakowski and the 19 dogs? Was he grinning over being “in love”? Or did your father shoot the dogs and chase Mrs. R. out of town in case she tried to start another ‘brood’? Oh this writer’s mind!

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    souldipper

    22/09/2011 at 11:15 am

    • Now that would be giving away too much of the story… but… My father did NOT take up with Mrs Rakowski. She was the meanest, nastiest woman who ever walking the earth – which, in retrospect, was probably the result of being the mother in a family that included 19 dogs and 13 children and her husband, though a competent mechanic, never earned enough to support even himself…
      You have a good writer’s mind though – you are definitely on the scent!

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  5. Omigawd, 19 dogs and 13 children? How could love possibly survive that?

    Like

    poietes

    09/10/2011 at 6:32 am


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