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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Patience (08/21/08)

TITLE: The Watch
By Rick Higginson


He stretched out in the cool grass and watched the door, keeping the old ball close between his front paws. The master would return soon, and he would be ready. Until then, he would do as he always did, and watch over the masterís home. For now, no threats were close, and he could wait in peace. The master always returned.

Nighttime came, and it was strange that the master wasnít home yet. The master always opened the door and called for him before dark. He would chase the ball for the master until it was too dark for the master to see it, and then they would go inside. They would have a meal, and then he would curl up at the masterís feet. It shouldnít be much longer; he could wait. The master always returned.

Other houses in the neighborhood called their dogs in, and soon were dark. His ears perked at the sound of one of the strange, noisy vehicles wailing in the distance. The master had left in one such vehicle, carried to it by two men. Perhaps the screaming vehicle was bringing the master home, and he looked in the direction of the sound. It was moving away, though, not coming closer. With a yawn, he laid his head on the ball, returning his eyes to the door. He would just have to wait a while longer. The master always returned.

He slept, occasionally waking to one noise or another, wondering if he was hearing the masterís return. The door, however, remained closed, and the ball ready between his paws. The master had said he would be back, and would find him waiting. The master always returned.

When the sun began to warm the damp grass, he picked up the ball and trotted his rounds, inspecting the periphery of the yard for anything amiss. It was one of the jobs he did for the master, and he wanted the master to be pleased that everything was in order and safe when he returned.

His patrol completed, he sat by the door and looked through the glass, holding the ball so that the master would see it as soon as he came home. They always played ball when the master returned.

In the afternoon, he moved back to the cool grass and watched the door, ignoring the hunger gnawing at his belly. The master had missed their meal, so there must have been something very important to keep him away. The master was good and trustworthy. They would have a special meal when the master returned.

The day ended, and still the door remained closed. What could be keeping the master? The master had never been gone this long before, but no matter; he would be waiting and ready regardless of how long it took. The master always returned.

He slept, and dreamed of the master. He held the ball up, and the master took it, smiling and laughing before throwing it across the yard. He would happily chase the ball for as long as the master wanted to throw it, just so that they could be together when the master returned.

Walking his patrol the next morning to conserve energy, he sniffed at each side and corner of the fence. He dropped the ball beside the water dish, and was lapping up the remnants of the water when he heard a click. Raising his ears, he looked towards the door before snatching up the ball and bounding towards the house.

The master always returned.

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This article has been read 690 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Holly Westefeld08/28/08
I enjoyed this charming allegory. You really captured the faithfulness and wistful longing of the "dog" waiting patiently for its "master."
Jan Ackerson 08/29/08
Oh my, this story simply broke my heart! Wonderful use of repetition...I'm not a dog person at ALL, but I totally choked up at this. Superb writing.
Sunny Loomis 08/30/08
Beautiful story! Held my attention to the end. Great descriptions! Made my eyes tear up. Our Master will return too because He said He will. Very nicely done.
Joy Faire Stewart08/30/08
Wonderful writing, wonderful story...loved everything about it!
Deborah Engle 08/31/08
Perfect illustration of the topic, and wonderfully done. I was releived when the Master returned.
Ellen Dodson08/31/08
I'm so glad that we see the title next to the critique box because, otherwise, I forget them. This title is perfect as Jesus reminds us to watch for Him, to EXPECT him. I need to be more like this dog, more consistently trusting of my Master's perfect loyalty to me.
The use of "master" over and over did distract me a bit, but I can also see why it is necessary in this. ;)
Patricia Turner08/31/08
I'm a bit of a softy when it comes to dogs, and I was really afraid the master wasn't coming home this time. I wasn't disappointed by the ending. A well told story!
Yvette Roelofse09/01/08
This brought tears to my eyes. I have several dogs, and I love them to pieces. I was terrified that the master wouldn't return, and the dog would be heartbroken. What a relief! :) Great writing.
Chely Roach09/01/08
I absolutely loved this...fantastic writing.
Valarie Sullivan09/02/08
Very good. I like the way you got us into the dog's head!
Catrina Bradley 09/02/08
Wonderful subject for this topic. I love this faithful pet. I could take a few lessons from him on patience. I was sure it was going to end badly for him, but I shouldn't have been - after all, the master always returns. :) Cat
Patrick Whalen09/03/08
I truly loved this story. I have often wondered what went through my dog's head when we are gone. Now I know :) I really felt the drama as it developed and could see the yard under patrol. I am so glad the master returned!
Dee Yoder 09/03/08
This is wonderful! I feel so sad for the doggie. Of course canines are the epitome of patience; always waiting and watching for us to pay attention to them. The repeated pattern of thought is perfect for this entry. Concise and detailed writing, Hoomi.
Leah Nichols 09/03/08
Superb piece of writing! You completely drew me in, and I'm not really a dog person at all! I like the open ending....allows the reader to draw their own conclusion.
Joy Faire Stewart09/03/08
I had to read this to my husband. The little dog's situation was a heartbreaker and then to realize it's a reminder of the coming of Christ, perfect...one of my favorites this week.
Joshua Janoski09/04/08
I never really thought about our animals and how patiently they wait for our return every time we leave them for a while. This was a very clever way of demonstrating this week's topic. Great job with this one! :)
LauraLee Shaw09/04/08
Wowzer, this is outstanding in every way. Your writing skills amaze me.