All Creation Groans

by Steven

It was dark.  I moved my pickup to a level spot not far from the shepherds’ camp.  I turned off the engine grabbed my flashlight and stepped out.  Two dogs, running and barking, caught up to me as I got to the back.  The alarm was over as soon as they saw me.  One stood off about six feet. The other dog came right up to me.  “Hey pup, how are you?” I said as I began to pet its head.  It stepped up by my left leg and sat leaning against me.  Running my hand down its back I could feel every bone and then every rib on its side.  “Those pups are yours.” I said, wishing I had some meat in my cooler to give her. My hand moved back to pet her head.  Her eyes closed.  I then worked her ears.  Eyes still closed she started to slide down my leg to the ground.  I rubbed her head more and she collapsed to the ground beside me eyes closed, soaking up every caress.  I wanted to get to bed but I couldn’t leave her.  I rubbed her side.  Her paws were dirty from walking through the mud to drink from the muddy pond across from us.

I stopped and stood up.  She got up and trotted off into the darkness.