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Once upon a time, long ago and far away, in a distant place and distant time, Charles ventured out far beyond the locked gate into a world he knew was dangerous even deadly. He was lonely and looking for his dog Skippy. Skippy had been his lifelong companion and it was the family joke that at the age of only six months, Charles’ first spoken word, doggie, was in reference to Skippy.

Where was Skippy? He wasn’t under the kitchen table sleeping on his pillow, or back with Mommy who was doing the daily laundry in her washing machine. Skippy! Skippy! Where are you Skippy? Maybe he was out in front of the house.

I ran to the front room, climbed up on the couch and looked out the window. The dirt street was visible, but the view of the yard was blocked by the bushes. Maybe he was in the yard. I could still see the dark splotch on the street where, Mommy told me yesterday, that the street-watering truck had run over Skippy. He loved to chase cars and trucks and bite at their spinning tires, so maybe he had chased one down the street.

I headed out toward the gate at the top of the stairs to get a better view. It was always locked, but now it came open, so I crawled down the stairs backwards and walked out to the edge of the street where I could get a better view. Skippy! Skippy! Where are you Skippy? So there I was, standing in front of my house, feeling sad and bewildered.

Then a strange thing happened. It had happened before, but this time it was different, because I had this strange feeling in my tummy. I could control it, like I could sort of control my talking. They both seemed to just happen, and most of the time things just came out, but there was a feeling that preceded them, and when that happened I could control it.

There was poop in my diapers. Wow, here was poop in my diapers! My Mommy had been telling me not to put poop in my diapers and she seemed rather annoyed at me when it happened, and now I was feeling guilty because there it was again.

This time it was different, really different because I knew why it was there and guilt was welling up in me, because I knew. Also, I was out in the front yard, near the street, and I wasn’t supposed to go out there, so I headed back to the house and was just at the foot of the stairs when my Mommy appeared at the top. She was noticeably fearful and I didn’t know why, perhaps it was because of the poop in my diapers. So, I said, Don’t worry Mommy. I got poop again. But I know why, and I won’t do it again.

My Mommy was so happy she cried as she carried me back up the stairs.