A Dog's Fairy Tale of ChristmasWe stopped at a park that was covered in snow. This was somewhere new! My owner removed my collar and then threw a ball. I chased after it. We hadn't played this game for a long time! But when I turned back he had gone. Puzzled, I sniffed around, but there were no familiar smells. I was lost and alone. So I wandered.
Elsewhere in the park I saw a big crowd of happy, smiling people. Santa was there with his sleigh and reindeer. He was handing out presents. I rushed over, but there were angry shouts, and I was chased away.
Then I came across a woman sitting on a bench. She had a dog with her. I approached, tail wagging, but she shook a stick at me. Feeling sad and unwanted, I wandered on.
I didn't understand it at all. I tried to be a good dog. I was clean in the house and didn't cause trouble. So why had I been left all alone in a world I didn't understand?
It began to snow. The wind cut right through me. I was lost, cold, hungry, and frightened.
I passed a shop doorway. There was a sad old man sitting there. He softly called to me. Cautiously I went to him. He rubbed my ears and spoke gently. I lay down beside him, and he put his coat over me.
Presently we got up and I walked by his side. We went to a big hall. It was warm inside. Lots of people came over and made a fuss of me. I was welcome!
They gave me a big bowl of turkey and carrots, covered with gravy. Afterwards there was music and everyone sang carols.
Much later I was given a blanket to sleep on. It was on the floor next to my new friend. I climbed onto his bed. He put his arm around me. There we lay, man and dog, a pair of unwanted and unloved strays. But that day I had enjoyed good food, warmth, kindness, and companionship. I was content.
The church bells rang in Christmas Day.
Graphic Billie Stahl