"The Dog Faced Man"
In Pigwell, time is not measured by days or weeks, but by the number of
eighteen wheelers that drive past my house. My name is Josephine Freeport,
a sixty four year old widow. My husband died of a massive heart attack
ten years ago, and since then, I have not left Pigwell. I have been content
to stay home and tend my flower and vegtable garden, read, and once
in a while sing in the church choir on Sunday. My life probably seems
pretty dull to most people, but little did I know my life would change the
day I first say the dog faced man.
I was in my garden that sunny spring morning pruning and weeding
my rose bushes when the hair on the back of my neck began to bristle.
Someone or something was watching me from the willow grove that was
some thousand yards to the south of my house along Painter Creek.
I straighted up and saw two deer standing in the grassfield watching
me. Suddenly, the looked back into the trees and bolted. A dark
figure was standing on the edge of the willow grove. The figure,
sensing that I had seen him, disappeared into the trees. The sight of
him unnerved me, and I went into the house. I went to the bedroom
and looked out the window, but I saw nothing more of the creature.
Pigwell is so named because of the large number of pig farms that
populate the area. The pigs are all bred and raised is enclosed buildings
which are mainly situated to the north and east of town. The workers
are required to change clothes and shower when they enter the
buildings so they don't bring in any outside diseases.
My husband, Jim and I moved to Pigwell some thirty eight years ago.
He had just graduated from veterinary school, and there was a high
demand for his services in the area.
When we first arrived here, there was a Methodist Church, a small
grocery store, a post office, two gas stations and a feed store, but
during the years I've lived here, they have added a Catholic and
Baptist Church, a larger Post Office, to grocery stores, clothing
stores a school and a Super Wal-Mart.
That night, I settled back in my recliner and was watching
television when I glanced toward the window to see an ugly, hairy
face staring at me. I screamed and leaped out of my chair. When
I looked at the window again. the figure was gone. I called the
Sheriff to report a prowler was lurking outside my house.
The Sheriff and his deputy arrived a few minutes later. They searched
around the house and out in the grassfield, but they didn't find
any evidence of the person I had described.
After the Sheriff left, I pulled the shades down and made sure all the
door and windows were locked. Even though the Sheriff hadn't found
anything, I knew that something was out there because I had seen
the being twice. I spent the remainder of the night listening for
sounds, but I heard nothing but the gentle breeze and an
occasional eighteen wheeler pass by with a load of swine on their
way to the market.
The next morning, I went out to my garden and noticed that
something had knocked down the top wire of my electric fence
I had installed to keep the deer, raccoons and other varmints out.
I turned the fencer off and went into the garden where I saw footprints
in the newly worked soil. They were larger that mine, and I guessed
thay were made by a man around six feet tall. He had picked two
ripe tomatoes, and in the dark, he had stumbled over the fence.
I glanced across the grassfield in the direction of the creek, but
I didn't see anything.
I thought the person I had seen was a bearde black man. I decided
that he must be a worker from one of pig farms who had either been
fired, or someone who decided he didn't like the job and had
I had heard that at least two of the pig farms had hired foriegn
workers, and if that was what he was, he may not know the
English language, and neither did he know where to find help to
get back home.
I got my husband's twelve gauge shotgun out of the gun cabinet.
Luckily for me, he had taught me how to use it. I loaded the shotgun
and placed it in the bedroom beside my bed. I decided I would take
a nap, and when it got dark, I wouold watch out the window,
although, I hoped the person, whoever and whatever he was, had
That night, I was seated on a chair in front of the bedroom window.
The shotguk was resting across my legs, a flashlight was sitting on
the floor beside me. In the bright moonlight, I had a full view of the
Around midnight, I was about to give up and go to bed, when a dark
figure loomed up out of the grass. The figure had eighter been there
or had crawled to that position and was waiting for the right
moment. The figure lingered there for a time, then ducked back
into the grass. I adjusted my glasses and waited.
A minute or so later, the figure reappeared. He dashed out of the
grassfield to the cover of the cottonwood tree. He then made his
way slowly toward the garden.
I rose from my chair, and with shotgun in one hand, flashlight in
the other, I groped through the darkened house to the back door,
then hesitated. "Josephine Freeman," I thought to myself. "What
are you doing? You are an old woman, and you have no idea what
you might encounter out there."
Ignaring my thoughts and my better judgement, I opened the door
just wide enough to peer out. The figure was bent over in my garden.
I riased the shotgun and fired into the air. The figure, startled,
stumbled over the electric fence and fell into my rose bushes.
"Don't shoot me," the figure cried out in broken English. "Don't
shoot me. I'm just hungrey." The figure pulled himself to his feet,
his hands raised above his head.
I knew I should stay in the house, but once again ignoring my
better judgement, I walked across the porch and down the steps
toward the garden.
As I approached the figure, I shined the beam of my flashlight
directly into his face and my heart leaped up into my throat. The
man't face was covered with hair, and all I could see was two
large eyes and his mouth. I stepped back, as once again I was
reminded of my age, and I wanted to drop the shotgun and run
back to the safty of the house. The man looked like a werewolf.
"What....who are you?"
"Pedro Hernandez," the said as he held his hand above his head.
"I walkked away from the Heath Circus five days ago when it was
in highland. I am a side show freak. I am the dog faced man."
I swallowed hard. I had read about the werewolf syndrome where
members of as family all had excess hair covering their bodies
including their face's, but I never expected to encounter one of
"I walkked away from the circus because I was tired of people
staring and laughing at me. Since then I"ve been afraid that
someone would see me." He paused as he lowed his hand's
to hisa side. "I'd give anything to be able to get back to the
safety of the circus."
"Where is the circus now?" I asked.
"Porterville," he replied.
"That's a hundred miles north of here."
"I know," he said as shook his head.
"Why did you pick me?" I asked.
"I didn't pick you," he replied. "You are the only person who has seen
since I left the circus."
I licked my lips. "How do you plan to get to Porterville?"
"I was hoping to find someone to drive me." He cocked his head to
one side showing a mouthfull of perfectly spaced teeth. "You wouldn't
consider driving me there, would you?"
I laughed. "That's out of the question, but why don't you take the
"I would frighten too many perple."
I dropped the beam of the flashlight from the man's face to the
ground. "Where are you from.?
I glanced down at the ground and chewed on my lower lips. I hadn't
driven much since I had married. Everything my husband and I had
wanted or needed always seemed to be available in Pigwell. My
eighty-eight Chevy didn't have many miles on it for a vehicle it's
age, and I had recently had it serviced. It wouldn't take more that
a couple hours to get to Porterville. All I had to do was top off the
gas tank, but it didn't seem like a good idea for a woman my age
to hit the road with a side show freak, a werewolf. I chuckled to
myself at the very thought of myself considering the option. I
shined the flashlight up at the hairy face. Did I feel sorry for the
man, or was I looking for an advnture, a reason to leave Pigwell
for a day.
"Let me sleep on this," I said. "I'll meet you on the edge of the
grassfild in the morning."
I walked back to the house. In the bedroom I set the shotgun
against the wall next to my bed. I looked out the window, but I
didn't see the man. I undressed, put on my pajama and craweled
It was light when I awoke. I thought about Pedro, and the thought
of driving him to Porterville seemed like a stupid thing for me to do.
What if he suddenly attacked me, or killed me and took the car. No,
I decided, if he did that, he wouldn't get far looking the way he did.
It wouldn't be long before a patrolman pulled him over to check him
I dressed and went to the kitchen and had my usual bowl of cereal
and cup of coffee. I fixed a ham sandwich. took an apple and a glass
of tea and walked out to the edge of the grassfield. I stood there
for a tim e before he rose up out of the grass some fifty yards away
and walked toward me. In the early morning sunlight he looked just
as ominous as he had when I first shinned the light in his face
during the night. He was wearing a broad brimmed felt hat, the
front of which was pulled down over his face. He had been wearing it
during the night, but had lost it when he stumbled over the electric
I handed him the sandwich and the glass of tea. "Do you still want
me to drive you to Porterville?"
"Yes," he replied as he took a hugh bite out of the sandwich and
washed it down with the tea.
"I've got a few thing to take care of. When I"m ready to leave, I will
sound my horn three times."
I handed him the apple, then went back to the house. I packed a few
in my old suitcase I hadn't used in over twenty years, then I repaired
the electric fence in the garden. I went downtown to get some gas and
leave word that I would be gone for a couple of days.
It was after lunch when I sounded the horn three time. A minute
later Pedro opened the back door and got in. I handed him two ham
sandwichs and a glass of tea and frove out to the highway.
I thought I would company on my drive to Porterville, but Pedro
crouched down in the backseat and only spoke when spoken to. I
finally gave up on him and turned the radio on.
Two hours and fifteen minutes later, we arrived in Porterville. The
circus wasn't hard to find with it's large white and orange tents
along with camels and elephants on the grounds. I stopped near
the entrance and turned the radio off.
Pedro sat up and strudied the circus grounds intently.He laid a
twenty dollar bill on the seat beside, thanked me, then got out and
walked into the circus grounds. I watched as the bearded lady, the
giant, the dwarf, the rubber man and all the rest of Pedro's came
out to greet him. He glanced back at me, waved and smiled then
disappeared into the tent with his friends.
I drove uptown and rented a room for the night. Then I went to a
restaurant where I saw a flyer advertising the circus. I hadn't
attended as circus since I was a young girl. The first show was
schuduled for eleven the next morning, and that would give me
plenty of time to take in the show and get home to Pigwell before
it got dark.
After I had eaten, I went to my room. I was tired from my drive, or
maybe it was because I hadn't slept6 much the past two nights,
but I didn't expect to get much sleep that night eight since I hadn't
slept anywhere other than my own bed for years. I undressed and
lay down. pulled the sheets up to my chin, and within minutes, I
was sound asleep.
The next morning, I went to a restaurant where they had a
breakfast buffet of sausage, bacan, eggs, pancakes and biscuits.
I never eat like that at home. Maybe it was because I was too
lazy to fix it.
When I finished eating, I went to the circus grounds and purchased
a ticket. I enjoyed the crowds, the children, the high wire acts, the
clowns along with the eleplant and lion and tiger acts.
After the show I went to Pedro's tent where I founds sitting a a large
wooded table with his friends. He introduced then to me. We talked
for a few minutes before he drew me aside.
"I"m sorry I frightened you," he said. "I want to thank you for
everything you did for me. I'll never walk away from the circus again
because there is no place for someone who looks like me to go."
As I drove home, I realized that, unlike Pedro, I could go and do just
abouit everything I wanted. I had enjoyed the drive to Porterville. the
circus and the sights.I decided that before I got any older, I would
sign up for a bus tour, meet some new friends and see the sights.
Pigwell will always be my home, but I still had time to get some
enjoyment out of life.