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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)

TITLE: MASTER
By Mary Barrow Little
01/28/08


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The old lamp cast soft shadows on the walls of our small cabin. Dinner was being prepared at the cook stove, but my attention was elsewhere. I stood alert by the door, a low moaning rising up from deep within me. My keen ears picked up the sound of baying and barking deep within the forest. My quivering nose lifted high searching for a hint of what all the excitement was about. I imagined what fun must be going on out there and let out a quiet whine.

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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This article has been read 386 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 02/01/08
You did a superb job with this unique POV, and the ending was so sad!

I don't think I get the connection with this week's proverb.

Nevertheless, your writing talent is outstanding!
Laury Hubrich 02/01/08
Wow! Jan's right -- very good writing! I think I see how the topic fits, though. The dog was yearning to be free like the old days but sees he's glad to have his master at his side. He also saw the loneliness of the other dog, too, and could appreciate his master even more. Clever. Great job!
Laury
Marita Thelander 02/04/08
I enjoyed this story with the dog POV. A couple minor word errors, but very smooth writing.
Laury Hubrich 02/05/08
You made the list for the Beginner Blessings this week! Congratulations! Here is the link: http://www.faithwriters.com/Boards/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=17610
Catrina Bradley 02/05/08
Wonderful first entry! Love the dog's POV, and the topic was clear to this reader. Excellent writing. :)
Dee Yoder 02/05/08
You have a parallel proverb running here: the dog with his master, and the believer with His Master. I like the way you let the dog go and find his way-mistakes and all-and have the master gently lead him back to the path. Then, the master let the dog see what the excitement was about: a dog whose master doesn't care for him at all. Very good story-enjoyed reading this!
Paula Titus 02/05/08
I love the voice in the piece. So gentle and touching, fantastic writing.
Kristen Hester02/06/08
This is a well written story. I enjoyed it. You h have good discriptions, especially when they are in the woods. Your writing is smooth. Good job.
Lyn Churchyard02/07/08
Very well written. I love the story from the dog's point of view. The ending was very moving.
James Dixon02/07/08
This was a very original angle to take and very well written.
Joanne Sher 02/07/08
Very evocative writing. I was completely engaged in this story. Wonderful descriptions.
Daneda Heppner02/08/08
Great dog story - you must be a pet lover! My favorite part was the 2nd paragraph from the end, very moving to see the contrast between the dogs and their owners.