He Marched Right Over to the Dog and Shot It

John Boyne (Photo: Richard Gilligan)

Bruno decided to make a list of his own. A list of all the reasons why he didn’t like Lieutenant Kotler. 

There was the fact that he never smiled and always looked as if he was trying to find somebody to cut out of his will.

On the rare occasions when he spoke to Bruno, he addressed him as ‘little man,’ which was just plain nasty because, as Mother pointed out, he just hadn’t had his growth spurt yet.

Not to mention the fact that he was always in the living room with Mother and making jokes with her; and Mother laughed at his jokes more than she laughed at Father’s.

Once when Bruno was watching the camp from his bedroom window he saw a dog approach the fence and start barking loudly, and when Lieutenant Kotler heard it he marched right over to the dog and shot it.

Then there was all that nonsense that Gretel came out with whenever he was around. 

And Bruno still hadn’t forgotten the evening with Pavel, the waiter who was really a doctor, and how angry the young lieutenant had been. 

Also, whenever Father was called away to Berlin on an overnight trip the lieutenant hung around the house as if he were in charge: he would be there when Bruno was going to bed and be back in the morning before he even woke up. 

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
(2006)

~ John Boyne (1971 – )
Irish novelist
. . .

Related
He Made You Feel Very Cold and Want to Put a Jumper On

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