My Friend

May 5, 2009
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I hear the birds, their calls, chirps, and whistles sound like a symphony. I hear the rustle in the dense forest of the scurrying animals. I smell the burning of an open fire. I smell the fresh water in the river as it takes the sticks and insects along with it. I see smoke, I see anger on the faces of the people who I am with, I don’t see the sun. The sun is what I look for when I am lost or scared, the sun gives me strength, without him, I fear the forest. Without him the qualms I once had, return.
It is the end of my day, I am now at home. I have always feared my home. I do not fear the walls, or the tables, my bed or my chiffonier. I fear my father. For he is a sadist, he is violent in his ways and shows no emotion when we looks at me. When he needs to communicate he does not speak, he yells, he scolds. He does not ask me how my day was, or if I learned anything new. He only asks if I finished cleaning our home.
I keep our home clean, so he does not yell, but it seems as if regardless of what I do he always sarcastically says I’ve done a nice job. I have never heard him sound sincere in my life. After I tidy up, I can go outside and relax until father gets home. I always sit on my favorite chair and sing songs to the rabbits and birds that come by to visit. They are my friends, for they are the only ones I can talk to when I feel sad.

It is a warm evening and I am on the porch, father should be arriving soon. I hear an unusual noise that even startles away the birds I was feeding left over bread to. There is something in the forest. A creature I have never seen before, in all of our travels. It appears in the shadows of the setting sun and stares at me with its huge eyes. As it approaches me I cannot stop myself from releasing a series of falsetto screams. I run, I can feel the tension rising and my heart begins to beat harder and faster. I begin to lose my breath and become dizzy, yet I had only been running for a minute or two. It is still following me, the river is now in front of me, giving me nowhere to run. I cannot swim, for my father does not believe I have the need to learn.

I turn around and he is now in front of me, he is not out of breath, he is sitting. This creature has teeth as sharp as spears, but has not bitten me. This creature as nails that can rip through flesh but it is only looking at me. This creature begins to drink water as if I was not terribly scared. It ignores my existence as if it were too conceited to even say sorry for startling me. It begins walking up and down along side of the river. I am still a little shaken, he has not looked at me since he began to drink, I think to myself he is planning to trick me into pretending he is friendly. I make myself a promise not to let my guard down. I cannot help but look at its hair and its legs and tail. It can run and jump and it also is quite the exhibitionist, it went for a swim and rolled around, as if he were mocking me.
I began to feel comfortable around it. I sat on the grass and ate some berries from the shrubs surrounding me. I spoke to it, in a monotonous voice, but it did not answer. Its ears would move, I know it heard me, but it did not say a word. I offered it some berries, and it ate them, but did not say anything. It came to me and licked my face, I was terrified, but I accepted the disgusting gesture as a thank you. However, I did not appreciate its halitosis.
I played with it for hours, it had beautiful eyes which glistened in the sunset. Before long it was dark, and father must have been home. I didn’t want to get in more trouble than I already was because I left home, but I didn’t want to leave it. I had fun, but I said my goodbyes in hopes of seeing the small, hairy, wet nosed creature again someday.

I did not run home, for I did not see the sun. I was scared, the forest was dark and I was alone. When I arrived home father had been waiting outside for me. Unscrupulously he scolded me and did not give me supper. I tried to tell him about the creature with four legs but he did not care he cursed at me and called me a moron for being friends with creatures from the forest. I did not want food, I did not care if he yelled, I wanted to go and play, I wanted to learn to swim. When father had gone to sleep, I ran to the river, the forest had been dark, for hours, but I was not scared. I could not see the sun, but I did not feel fear. The creature was sitting by the lake. I played with him and when the sun arose, he ran. I followed him, I did not know where he was going, but while I ran, I felt free, I did not stop, I did not need water, I was running and I was with my friend. It ran until dark, and I followed right behind him. At sundown we came to a village, with buildings and houses much bigger than my home. It took me to a house where many children played outside and did not get yelled at. It took me inside, and when I followed it into the kitchen, there was my mother. I had not seen her in years, my father said she left us. My mother was beautiful and she welcomed me with open arms. The creature was sent to save me, and it is now three years later I have learned that he is a dog, and his name is Chester.
Chester is my friend and my hero.





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