Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of “All that Glitters is Not Gold” (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (01/24/08)
By Mary Barrow Little
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My master, always attentive to my needs, came over and stroked my head with his loving hand. “What’s wrong girl? What do you want?” he asked. I’m sure he already knew. Sometimes I think he knows better that I do, but he seems to get great pleasure in hearing me ask. I gave a quick shiver, one loud bark and tapped the door with my paw. I looked up into his eyes and let out my most pitiful whine.
“Think your missing out on something girl?” he gently inquired. “Don’t you want to sit down with me and enjoy our supper? I’ve prepared your favorite tonight.” Impatiently, I pawed the door once again to let him know I was more interested in all that barking going outside. I was sure it must be something better than dinner, if he would just open the door and let me run….
“OK, have it your way girl.” He put on his coat and reached for the leash. I dropped down on my belly, flattened my ears back and let out a groan for good measure. My desire was to run free, like the old days before I knew my master. “Don’t worry” he chuckled as he fastened the leash to my collar, “I can run fast too.”
My master opened the door and I leapt off the stoop heading straight into the woods. We hit the blackberry patch first, I could feel the thorns pulling at my fur. Next we ran into some mud. It was deep, all the way up to my belly. I was having a hard time walking with the mud sucking at my paws and was very glad to reach dry ground. The barking continued in the distance and I put my nose down to find a scent. I let out a big yelp. Nettles! I sniffed my way right into a patch of nettles!
I quickly found the mud again and stuck my nose in to cool the stinging. I wondered to myself about my masters silence during our adventure so far. Even though I had wanted to run free, I was secretly pleased he was by me. As that thought went through my mind, I became aware of a gentle tugging on the leash. I looked up into the loving face of my master and realized he knew the way. Why hadn’t I thought to ask him? We set off again, this time with him in the lead, I following in his footsteps.
Within minutes my master led me to a crystal clear lake. The moon shone brightly and I could see my mud caked face reflected in the surface of the water. Silently, my master lifted me into the water and cleansed the mud from my fur. Gently he applied a salve to my stinging nose. Softly humming a tune, he inspected my paws and rubbed me dry with his own coat.
We stood up to go and I turned back towards our cabin very ready for that evening meal. The leash pulled me up short and I turned back to see my master standing still. He looked at me silently and I thought about our adventure tonight. I too was silent as I went to him and sat at his feet, ready to follow his lead. My master turned and followed a path towards the baying and barking. I had forgotten my desire to find out what was happening, but my master had not.
After a short while we came up to a clearing with a cabin in the center. A light shone from the cabin and I could see a man seated at the table enjoying a solitary meal. The dog barked wildly, running in circles, trying in vain to get his masters attention. Matted fur and gaunt sides betrayed the indifference of the master to his chained dog.
My master and I stood at the edge of the clearing and wept.
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