One summer afternoon a small group of children gathered out in front of "Sam the Greek's" house, where he tied empty tin cans to a stray dog's back legs. The dog was a large, emaciated, short-haired brown animal with sad eyes and a docile manner. It may have had a Weimaraner ancestor back in the 15th century.
I was six and had no idea why an adult was tying cans to a dog's legs. Was this a party?
When the burly Sam finished tying more than a half-dozen cans, he took a switch from a tree and beat the dog's rump with all his strength.
The dog howled and took off running, the cans clattering behind, the howling increasing with the dog's terror.
Sam growled a smutty laugh.
We children wandered, helpless, toward home.