Monday, December 22, 2014

A Dog With No Name---Chapter Two

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 2:  Food

A slice of sunshine lit across the dog’s face, gently rousing him.  There was a crispness in the air as the early morning sun flooded the dark cave with light.  As the dog stirred awake he quickly realized he was alone.  The goats had gone to pasture.  The dog began to stretch, but pain ripped through his hind leg from last night’s injury.     He rose awkwardly on three legs and hobbled over to the water bowl.  He lapped as the cool water refreshed him.

The dog knew a human would likely come in to clean the goat's shelter.  The smell of urine was strong.  So the dog knew he would have to find another place to hide during the day.   He limped out of the small cave and moved through the rocks and grass along the rock face wall.  The dog returned to the gap between the rock wall and the stone fence and slipped through back into the alley.

Hugging the shadows in the alley the dog worked his way towards the street.  There were so many new scents and sounds, indicating that even more people had come into town overnight.   The dog’s stomach pulled inward painfully with hunger.  The smells of food wafting from the streets into the alley caused him to drool.   He wanted to run to the delicious smells with all his heart, but the smells of the people made him anxious.  The dog licked his nose, calming himself as well as improving his sense of smell.   He smelled dried fish and goat meat, spices , cheese and dates from the market place.   The smell of food overwhelmed him and the dog felt an urgent need to leave the safety of the alley.

The dog hesitated as he glimpsed at the street from the edge of the alley.  He had never seen this many people in his town, even at the busiest times.  A wave of anxiety passed through the dog.  He knew that people did not like dogs, except for herding dogs who worked hard to maintain their low status in a human pack. The dog would have to maintain his distance while searching for food.

There was no break in the foot traffic in the town street.  Humans of all kinds were walking in the streets, most on foot, some on the backs of donkeys, and a few others in carts pulled by thin horses.   There were men leading their families while carrying sparse belongings on their backs.  There were soldiers in the street barking orders at the townspeople and new comers.  There was no way the dog would be able to cross the street in the daylight with all these humans.  He had learned that the hard way.  The dog sniffed and licked at last night’s injury, trying to muster up his courage to leave the alley.   The smell breads baking brought his attention back to the street and the dog began to drool again.

The scent wafted in the current, swirling around the dog, finally enticing him from the alley.  The dog saw a tall pile of baskets at the corner of the alley and street that he was able to slip behind.   The dog worked his way, limping, hiding behind baskets, clay jars, and tables following the scent of baking bread towards its source.

After a slow navigation, the dog emerged from under the last table.  He was very close to the source of the smell.   He hoped maybe someone would drop a piece of bread, or carelessly toss a half-eaten piece onto the street near him.  He waited for a several minutes.  Many people came and went, but no pieces of bread fell.   Famished, the dog would try to go around the building into the alley and behind the building.  Perhaps there would be trash, burned bread or other some wonderful meal.

Just as the dog left the safety of the table to cross the doorway and dart into the alley, a man emerged.  The man yelled at the dog and tried to kick him.  Luckily the man missed as the dog scurried back under the table.   The man continued to yell and the dog pressed against the wall of the building.  A stick poked under the table trying to find the dog but his luck continued to hold as the harsh blow missed him.  Just as the man was about to strike again, another man approached.  The two men started to talk and then began to walk away.   The dog shuddered and curled up under that table, his hunger forgotten.   Trembling, he began to lick at the wounds of his hind leg to soothe himself the way his mother would when he was a tiny pup.  As the dog calmed down, the suns glow settled upon him coaxing him into slumber.


"Shoo!  Shoo!"
The dog was startled awake by the noise of an angry woman.  She pushed the table exposing the dog.   The woman shook a broom at him forcing him to scurry across the door step and down the next alley.  The woman continued to yell at him as he limped as quickly as he could down the alley.   She seemed satisfied with the distance he had put between them because she went back into the building. 

In the alley the dog’s stomach rumbled.  He had not planned to fall asleep under that table, but the warmth of the sun against the stone building, had made sleep irresistible.  His stomach groaned again painfully, reminding him of his current goal.  He licked his nose and sniffed the air.  He could still smell the bread, but it was not freshly baked as it was this morning.  As luck would have it, the alley he was chased into led to the back of the house that had been doing all the baking.   He could smell burned pita bread, falafel and leban at the end of the alley.

The dog limped to the back of the stone building and came to a stone fence.  There was a gate and fortune held again, as he discovered the latch was not secured.  The dog nudged the gate open with his muzzle and sniffed the air cautiously.  He did not smell any dogs or humans nearby.  He spotted a wooden barrel near the back door.  He limped towards it, aching for its contents.  However, with his injured hind leg he could not balance himself well enough to reach the top.  

The dog was feeling frenzied now, as he had not eaten in two days and the delicious smells were overwhelming him.  The dog leaned back and then pushed his shoulder with all his weight and strength and toppled the barrel.  It made a clatter and the dog knew he must be quick.  He gobbled down a falafel and then grabbed a pita bread and limped quickly back into the alley.  He pressed into the shadows holding his bread tightly in his jaws, drool running nad hanging from his lips.  He could hear the woman enter the yard from the stone building.   She looked around the yard, picked up the barrel and pulled the gate closed and secured the latch.  When she returned to the house, the dog relaxed enough to eat his prize.

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