Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Green Fields – story #4

The heavy chain clanged as he dragged himself out from beneath the shed. He hoped that the man was coming to feed him; it had been a couple of days since he last ate and his water was bowl was full of scum. His hopes dropped when he saw the man's hands were empty, but glimmered when a short length of rope was taken from the man's pocket. They were going somewhere! Thinking that it might be that place in the country that the man had taken him a long time ago, he jumped in anticipation. He had run in the green grass and then swam in the cool lake. A quick boot in the side subdued his enthusiasm, but a small flint of hope remained.

The man shoved him into the car, barely letting him clear the door before slamming it behind him. It hadn't always been like this. When he was just a puppy the whole family had showered attention on him, but then he had chewed up a shoe, and one of the children's toys; a chain and corner of the shed became his new home. He had held out hope for years, but now the sight of his family just triggered a defensive growl.

They drove for a while, and when they stopped he knew it was not the fresh scent of the country that he smelled, instead the place was ripe with the smell of fear. Dragged out of the car and kicked into a small cage, he knew terror like he had never known before. The man gave a last rattle to the cage door to make sure it was shut and then drove away, leaving him alone with only the company of other terrified creatures.

All night he shivered, more from fear than the cold; his dull black coat while short, had been keeping him warm for years. After the sun had been up for a while, a woman came out and stood in front of his cage. The soft words she spoke to him were the sweetest sound he could remember hearing, but fear made him growl a soft warning at her. She opened the cage and reached inside; his instincts told him to bite, but the calming sound of her voice gave him pause long enough for her to gently slip a leash over his head. With a quiet tug he was out of the cage and walking into a building. There were other dogs barking, some seemed frightened, but others were happy to see the woman.

Some other people came into the room and gently patted his head. He expected to be kicked and growled in defense. The people talked for a while then lead him into another, larger cage. It had a soft blanket and a bowl of food and fresh water. Confused, he looked at the woman and could see that she was smiling.

Two days passed, with food and water, blankets and warmth, smiles and soft pets. He still couldn't help himself, all those years of abuse made him distrustful. He was starting to trust her though.

When she reached in with the leash again, he stood quietly while she put it on; he felt that she meant no harm.  She walked him to another room, where she and another woman helped him up onto a table and got him to lie down. As she spoke to the other person, she gently stroked his side as he tried to relax.  He felt a small jab and felt himself starting to feel sleepy. As the bright white light above him started fading, he looked into the woman's eyes and wondered why she was crying.

Green fields surrounded him, a lake glittered in the distance. Suddenly, he felt himself free and he ran like the wind.

~