The dog ran.
He ran for joy.
He ran for hope.
He ran for a friend.
The dog ran through the darkening woods,
jumped over gurgling creeks, and ran through swaying meadows. The dog loved how
it felt to have wind in his fur. He loved extending his long lean legs. But
most of all he loved being away from the master and his demands.
The dog knew where to go because he had
gone many times before but it got harder every time. The master was getting
closer to figuring out his secret.
Now all the dog thought about was the
joy of running and the joy of freedom. As the dog got to the clearing he sniffed
the air, and caught a woody scent. He ran forward and the deer turned and bleated
with joy. Both of the animals ran forward and tackled each other play biting
the whole time.
They played for hours; running, jumping,
and tackling. They played until the big, white moon came out. The dog playfully
nipped the deer one more time before heading back to the master.
The dog trembled at the thought of going
back but he had to unless he wanted to starve. The dog was a disaster when
hunting and all the animals scattered whenever he tried.
The dog arrived at the barn and went
around back to find the little hole. He had worked hard to dig down through the
dirt floor and under the big rocks. When he climbed through and into the barn,
the other hunting dogs greeted him with a wag. The dog went to his corner and
curled up, whimpering as he slept.
dog woke up to harsh voices. The master and the neighbor came in through the
''I'm telling you, that dang dog is getting
out and going somewhere,'' the master said.
do you keep that dog anyway?" asked the neighbor. "Isn't that the one that
Suddenly the master turned and kicked
the dog in the ribs. "You're useless,'' he hissed.
The dog whimpered and cowered. He didn't
understand, why was every human mean?
''We've got work to do,'' the master
said as he let the dog out of the barn. "Now listen, this is your last chance
dog, so play well."
The dog waited obediently while the
master closed the barn door. The dog didn't know where they were going. His
head and tail drooped as they headed into the woods. When they rounded a bend
the dog saw the deer waiting in the middle of the path. Just standing. Just
waiting. The master threw a rock at the deer and the deer ran, but only a
little ways before turning and looking back at the dog.
"A little pitiful thing that deer
is," the master sneered.
The dog whimpered and looked up at the
master, hoping for kindness. But the master turned his back. He grabbed the
dog's scruff and dragged him back to the barn. ''Get in there, mutt,'' the
master demanded, "You're useless."
The dog slunk in and curled up in his
little corner. He was so lonely on the farm. No one to play with. No friends.
The dog woke up. He got up and went to
the edge of the barn where his hole was supposed to be. It was not there. The
dog dug another hole, his paws aching, and climbed through it just to face
another problem: he was on the neighbor's property. His guard dogs turned as
one and charged. They were strong, but thankfully they were dumb and slow.
The dog sprinted the other way diving around
barrels and hay bales. He was smart and fast, so he soon lost the guard dogs. He
slowed down to a trot than to a walk, panting heavily. When the dog regained
his breath he sped up again to follow a well-worn path.
When the dog arrived, the deer was
waiting as usual. She was curled up on the ground but disentangled herself when
she saw the dog. The two animals started to romp around, diving and weaving
around trees. Suddenly the deer turned and headed off in the opposite
direction. The dog was curious, so he followed.
Minutes later, the deer stopped on a
small hill and looked back. When the dog caught up, he watched her nose at a
small bundle of fur. The cat opened her big green eyes. Suddenly something took
over inside the dog, something he had only felt once before: love. The dog
curled up around the little animal keeping him safe from the harsh winds.
In the morning the dog woke up cold and
hungry wishing for a warm bed. He looked for the kitten and saw him a little
ways off meowing loudly. The dog went over and picked him up by the scruff,
bringing him back over to the hill. The dog looked around for the deer but
didn't see her. He whimpered at the thought of going back to the master but he
had to because he needed food and so did the kitten. As the dog turned to go, the
little cat started to yowl in big heaping breaths causing such a ruckus that
all the birds in the field took flight. The dog ran back and gently picked the
little guy up, being as gentle as can be. Both animals headed toward the
dreaded farm, the dog going as slow as possible.
When they arrived, the dog put the
sleepy kitten behind a tree and walked out by himself. He went around back to
where his hole was, climbed through it, and smashed his face right into the master's
"There you are," the master growled
looking down on the dog.
The dog whimpered, looking as sorry as
"Someone just arrived and is demanding
to see you," said the neighbor who just came up behind.
"Really, well tell him to wait.''
"It's a woman," the neighbor stated.
"Yes I am a woman," said an old woman
Both men spun around, both looking as
flustered as a chicken.
"What are you doing to that poor dog?"
the woman asked.
"Just disciplining him ma'am," the
master answered meekly.
"Well than ma'am why are you here?" the
master asked. "We don't usually get a lot of visitors."
"Well I can see why but I am here
because I want to buy some of your do-,"
"They ain't for sale," interrupted the
"Really, because I can give you
something you deserve."
That made the master perk up.
"And what would I deserve?" the master
Just than the police arrived around the
corner, "You're under arrest for animal abuse."
"You can't do this," the master argued, "my
dogs are perfectly fine here! My dog right here"-- he pointed at the cowering
dog -- "always comes back when he leaves. That is true devotion!"
"No it's not. I see him sometimes walk
by my house to go see a deer; that is
The police put on the handcuffs with a sharp
click and led the master toward a parked car.
its ok, I'm not going to hurt you," said the woman gently. "Come on let's go to
your new home."
The dog followed the woman like a good
dog should but then the dog stopped, turned around, and trotted toward the
trees. The old woman watched him go with a happy smile.
The dog gently plucked the kitten up and
carried it to the woman, setting it in her lap.
"Oh poor thing," cooed the woman.
The dog wagged his tail and barked, but
suddenly he stopped, remembering that whenever he barked, the master always
yelled at him to be quiet.
"Ok, let's go." The woman led the dog to
the car, putting him in the back seat. She put the car into gear and headed
down the road.
Suddenly the dog jumped up and barked and
pawed the window.
"It's ok dog, you will see your friend
The dog whined pitifully but he laid
they arrived at the woman's house the dog jumped up and ran as fast as he could
into the woods bumping right into the deer! The dog yipped and stared at the
deer in astonishment.
"Ha ha ha ha ha," laughed the woman, "didn't
expect your friend to be here now did you?"
The dog and the deer played all that
evening, but not in the woods; they played in the yard. They had the best of
The dog left the deer and trotted back
to the house. He went inside and followed his nose and it brought him to a big
slab of meat. The dog jumped up and then down, up, down, up, down.
"Wait a second," laughed the woman.
"Woof," complained the dog.
As the woman cleaned up, the dog watched.
He watched with joy.
He watched with hope.
He watched a new friend.