He looked at the watch around his wrist, one he had bought a few hours earlier. “Well, its late people,” he said. “Time to jump in bed, we had a very long day.”
His wife chuckled. “Come on dear, no one is tired yet.”
“That’s not what those beautiful eyes are saying, I can see sleep all over that face.”
“One more minute, I need to make some more curtain rods. Where are the rest of the strings I brought inside this evening?”
“I will go to a shop tomorrow morning and get some real curtain rods for you. But now, sleep time.” He made for a few feet away from her.
“Okay, I guess I can handle this some other time then.”
“I’ll be in soon, after feeding the dogs.”
“Jason, you heard your father, go wash up in the barrel outside and go to bed.”
Jason pretended to not hear his mother for a few seconds, but jumped to his feet as his father approached the door way.
“Here boys, it’s getting late. Where are you?” Toney called out to the two dogs.
Standing outside, the woods played him a festive song. He felt a sense of newness, and purpose to his life.
Back on Dow Island, Toney had three dogs he used for hunting. When he was about to leave, he sold the lead dog to another hunter. He did not need it anymore. But more so, he did not want to cripple it. It was getting old, and knew the forest back on the island better. It was the best hunting dog he ever had.
Buck was its name.
Buck was used to train the other two dogs, Vic and Blacks, who came on the journey. Vic was the youngest, and always had to prove his spot in the pack.
Toney whistled loudly, piecing the cold air. He expected his dogs to respond. Yet, for several minutes, could hear nothing other than the forest creatures whistling back.
Some distance around, he saw a few houses. There, light beamed from their windows, like eyes, but not enough to provide any help to him.
At that moment, under his breath, Toney reminded himself of the vow he made. No one will be left behind to fend for themselves, and that included his dogs. These dogs were part of his family.
Many nights in the past, Toney’s dogs alerted him to dangers on the hunting trails. Once, Blacks even placed himself between a venomous snake and his master. Itself it offered as a sacrifice, so its master could escape death. Remembering this, Toney went into the house, placed a slipper on his feet, took his machete out of the case and headed back to the front door.
Copyright © 2017 David Alexian
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