Once upon a time, there was a man who had a neighbour called Gaston. The man and his family had been troubled by Gaston for years. They judged him to be a bad neighbour. Sometimes Gaston played his music loud. You could hear the booming of it through the walls. And once he cut down the branch of an apple tree that he claimed had been overhanging his garden. There was much tension between the neighbours.
Gaston had a Nissan pick-up truck and the man had an Alsatian dog called Brutus. One morning, Brutus was off his lead yet again running hither and thither - up the street and down. At the same time Gaston was off to work in his Nissan pick up truck. He backed out of his driveway looking up and down the street. If the truth be known, Gaston saw Brutus in his rear view mirror but he was late for work and you can guess what happened next.
Brutus ran behind the truck and in an instant was killed. Gaston pretended to be mortified. He picked up the dead dog's limp body and carried it to the man's front door where he explained what had just happened. Then Gaston went to work.
The man was furious. This would surely be the straw that broke the camel's back. Brutus was dead and it was Gaston's fault. Pure and simple. The man lay in bed that night seething with rage. Gaston could not be allowed to get away with this and gradually thoughts of vengeance began to swirl in his imagination.
Two days after the killing of Brutus, in the middle of the night, the man took a canister of red car paint and quietly sprayed a rude word across the front of Gaston's house. It was the word "BASTARD" in big capital letters. Excess paint dribbled down the wall and the door.
Gaston suspected his neighbour but could not prove it so with great difficulty he simply cleaned the red paint up and hoped that that would be the end of it. Just a one-off.
But it wasn't the end of it. That Sunday morning Gaston was woken by a loud explosion. His house shook. It was his precious Nissan pick-up truck. It was ablaze and flames were leaping everywhere. He called the emergency number and soon the fire brigade arrived. The flames were damped down. Luckily, though the truck was now a write-off there was only minor property damage.
The man was still not satisfied. The need for yet greater vengeance festered inside him. After all, Gaston had killed Brutus.
The man bought several gallons of petrol from the Esso garage on the edge of town. He carried it to his van in green plastic containers.
That night, when Gaston, his wife Marie and their three children were asleep in their beds, the man broke into their house through the french doors at the back. Almost silently, he swilled the petrol upon the floors of every downstairs room. The smell was noxious and knowing how flammable petrol is, he realised he had to ignite the fire with great care.
Upon leaving, he threw a burning rag into the house and in an instant there was a massive conflagration. He stood on Gaston's lawn for a few moments before scurrying back into his own house. There were the sounds of windows shattering, the roaring of flames and the screaming of a child from the back bedroom.
Gaston would not be causing the man any more problems. The family was wiped out and later what was left of the house had to be demolished. "Well," the man thought, "he should not have killed my dog!" and he smiled, enjoying the sweet taste of vengeance. Perhaps he had forgotten that Gaston had brothers.