In trying times, the mind, heart, and snout of a furry friend prevail.
Dense fog surrounded Skippy as he sniffed the rock in front of him. A familiar scent greeted his nose. He kept close to the rock and sniffed the ground around it. When he came to the other side, he felt something soft, like a blanket. He continued sniffing further, and felt fingers, attached to the palm of a hand that smelled and felt familiar. It belonged to his master who petted his fur and scratched his ears each day. But along with the happy scent of his master came the sharp scent of flowing red that spills from an open body. A whimper rose up from his throat to his mouth. His master did not move, nor say anything to him.
"What'd ya find, buddy?" The voice of the stranger sounded friendly, but Skippy wasn't fooled by that, and he wasn't interested in leading the man any closer to his master. He did not like the shiny thing that the stranger held in his hand. It smelled foul. He wanted to wake his master for dinner, distract the man so his master could run home. He gave the man a low growl and bared his teeth. The stranger backed away.
A set of headlights gleamed through the milky air. Skippy barked. The truck stopped, the lights went out, and there was silence. The door of the truck creaked quietly. His master's father stepped out of the truck but stayed a moment behind the door. A shot rang out, then the ping of metal on rock. As the stranger turned to look around, Skippy ran to the stranger, and knocked him down. He could hear feet running toward the house as he sat on top of the stranger's chest, but did not move to follow the feet.
Help finally arrives
A blue car with blue flashing lights pulled onto the crunchy gravel driveway by the house, next to the truck. Two men in dark blue uniforms approached him, still sitting on the stranger.
"You can get off him, Skippy. We'll take it from here." The two men in blue picked the stranger up from the ground, held his arms behind his back, and handcuffed them. One of them thanked and pet Skippy.
"Good boy, Skippy." Skippy wagged his tail, nuzzled his hand, and whimpered.The man in blue gave him a biscuit to eat.
A third man in blue took a long bed with wheels and a white cushion on top from the back of the blue car with blue lights, and unfolded it. Another one helped him bandage and place his master's body on the white cushion and the whole bed fit in back of the truck. Skippy ran over to the truck and climbed in. His master's father carried the small boy wrapped in a blanket to the truck. He hopped into the driver's seat with one officer, and the other sat in the back of the truck with Skippy, his master, and the boy.
All the way to the hospital, Skippy lay near his master and kept him warm. The boy petted and hugged him. His tears dampened Skippy's fur.
© 2011 Karen Szklany Gault
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