Tuesday, December 23, 2014

A Dog With No Name---Chapter 3

A dog with no name is alone in the world, fearing and avoiding all humans---until he meets a newborn baby that will change the entire world. This is a story of the First Christmas and beyond, and a young dog who meets the newborn Son of God and becomes a valued part of this very special family

Chapter 3: Unexpected Guests

His belly full, and the sun beginning to set, it was time for the dog to return to the cave that sheltered the goats.  It was warm, there was fresh water and he felt safe in the cave.  As he limped to the end of the alley and closer to the street he was puzzled with what he saw.   More humans!  Not only were the streets full of weary travelers, but they were sheltering along the sides of the street against the buildings and throughout the market place.

To the left of the dog was a woman who laid out reed mats for her family to sleep on as a man made a small fire in a clay bowl.   Two children were snuggled against each other, sleeping.  They carried scents that the dog had never smelled before; different even from the other out-of-towners.

As the dog looked around he saw other family groups doing similar things.  Some sleeping on mats, others warming their hands over small fires, still others were breaking bread.  They were smiling and greeting each other politely.    Some children played quietly together while sitting against the stone walls of the buildings.  Others slept.

The dog looked down the street and around the market place.  It was as busy as any time in the daylight!   But it was a different kind of busy.   The venders were not calling out for people to buy their wares.  The venders were not even there!  Other humans, strangers, were camping under the awnings where business was generally conducted.    The dog looked in the other direction at the buildings up and down the street.   He noticed that they were all lit with oil lamps and he could see humans in almost every window.   The buildings were full of people, the market was full of people and the sides of the street were full of people.  There was no way the dog could hide in the shadows to get back to his cave; there were simply too many people.  He would have to go into the road.

The dog nervously left the alley, moving as quickly as he could.  The limp slowed him some, but fear motivated him to move quickly.  He was surprised and relived that the people seemed too busy with other business to pay him much attention.   He made it back to his alley entrance without incident.

The dog limped quickly down the alley.  There was a family making camp there as well!  A man slept on a mat as a woman nursed a baby.   Two young children slept on mats between the man and woman.  There was another child.   A toddler that wobbly approached the dog, arms outstretched.   The dog recoiled and fear again pushed the dog quickly to the end of the alley and he jumped painfully through the break in the fence in a rush to return to the cave.

When he cleared the fence he was startled at what he saw here.  More people!  There were clusters of people in the courtyard behind the building where the cave was.  Not many and they were close to the building.  The dog pressed in close to dark shadows of the rock face and limped to the cave.  He was relieved that no humans were in there.  The goats were back, chewing their cud and paying him no attention.   The dog went to the back of the cave to the water source.  It was cool and refreshing as it seeped from the rocks and collected in the basin.   He lapped until his thirst was quenched.

The dog returned to the dark corner where he had slept the night before.  There was fresh straw.   The dog scratched it towards the recess and then made several turns upon it before he settled down.  Then he tended to his wound.  His fur was still caked with dried blood and dirt.  He attempted to clean it by licking the fur to soften the area and then nibbling at the matted hair to remove it.    The dog had removed most of the caked blood and dirt exposing the pink wound beneath.  It was seeping and stung as he licked at it.    A half hour later the dog was exhausted and fell asleep.
The dog was startled awake hours later by the sounds of humans approaching the cave.  He pressed into the recess as much as he could; hoping to be undetected.  He could smell humans, and a burro.   The burro stayed outside the cave, and began grazing, but the humans entered the cave.  The dog could only see one, a man, struggling with a large bundle carried in his arms.    The dog cocked his head as he realized it wasn’t one human he saw, but two.  His nose told him there was both a man and a woman, and the woman was....injured?  She smelled of stress and fear.   The dog could not see the woman at first, because it was the woman that  the man was carrying in front of himself.  She was bundled in blankets and laying across his strong arms, whimpering in pain.   The man gently laid the woman down on the ground.  She grimaced and moaned with a great pain that was coming in waves.  She would cry between the waves of pain and the man spoke softly, stroking her hair as he tried to comfort her.

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