Residence: San Gabriel, CA
Date of Performance/Collection: 4/28/2014
Primary Language: English
Larry and the Dog
informant: Okay so there was this guy and his dog and they were out in the middle of the woods with this house that they were going to redo for his own personal use. Anyways . . . so he decided to just move into the house so he didn’t have to go back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. And then at about 2 a.m the dog starts like freaking out. . . oh his name is Larry. Anyways so [a voice] is like,
“Laaaaaaary, I can see you” and Larry’s like,
“whhhhhhaaaaaat?????”. And he was all freaked out and then the voice was like, “Larry, I’m 10 feet away” and then it disappeared. And then the next night, at the exact same time, the dog started like freaking out and the voice was like,
“Laaarry, I’m on your porch”. And then the next night the dog flipped out again at the same time and was like,
“Laaaaaarrry, I’m outside your bedroom door”. And then the next night, the dog didn’t bark, so he opened his bedroom door and there was the dog . . . . DEAD. And then he heard a voice that said,
“Larry, I’m behind you” and then he turned around and then he died.
Interviewer: Where did you hear this story?
Informant: My friend told it to me at school
Interviewer: Do you know where she heard the story?
Informant: I have no idea
Interviewer: Who do you typically tell the story to?
Informant: I haven’t told the story since like, 5th grade
The informant’s tale is in accordance with Olrik’s Epic Laws of Folk Narrative, specifically and prominently, the law of repetition. The repetition effectively divides the story into discernible narrative parts and the builds suspense for the audience, which is especially important as the story was told orally. Also the age of the informants when she first heard the tale is possibly significant. The informant, in fifth grade, was on the cusp of puberty, as children are trying the sort out childhood fears and anxieties with that of adult expectations. Stories like this bring fears to the forefront so that they may be expelled by the time the children reach adulthood.