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It happened one night, when the air was cool, the sky lucid, the stars blinking furiously, like so many fireflies and the moon full and sweetly rounded like the belly of an expectant mother, a deed so at odd with the serenity of that perfect summer night, a deed where by its very nature was a blasphemy against such felicity, a deed all the more potent because of its contrast. A young boy lay peacefully sleeping beneath a huge cedar tree, the silver-white light from the sky above cast upon his features, highlighting his ethereal countenance. Unbeknown to the boy, there in the shadows loomed a wild dog driven from his pack and ravenous from days of roaming without sustenance. Desperate to assuage his gnawing hunger, the wild dog could not resist the opportunity that presented itself, regardless of how risky it was for a lone dog to attack a human. With a feral growl he leapt out from his hiding place and fell upon the boy. The boy being a light sleeper awakened and a struggle ensued between man and beast. All the while, the moon in its glowing luminescence reflected upon the scene, tingeing this stark violence in its cold light. The wild dog weakened by hunger was soon overpowered, as the boy prepared to slit his throat he happened to glance into the eyes of the dog and what he saw there made him drop his dagger. Keeping him trapped, he used a length of rope to secure the dog to the tree. Taking out a hunk of bread, the boy set it before the pitiful dog, who sniffing, gobbled it down; he noted that the dog was rather scraggy. His eyes however, the colour of burnished amber, were lit with intelligence and something else. The dog, unsure of this extraordinary behaviour and unused to such kindness from any creature let alone a human; attached himself to the boy. The boy freeing the dog was surprised to see him make no effort to escape, shrugging he gathered up his things and prepared to leave. Giving the dog one last glance he began walking. The dog got up and fell into step beside the boy. Amused, he looked at the animal beside him, once more noticing what an unfortunate looking creature he was. As the days went by, the boy continued his journey; the dog never leaving his side. The dog, regular feeding and grooming had thickened his fur adding a lustrous sheen, coupled with his unusual eyes, the boy wondered what had compelled him to believe the dog unfortunate in looks. He felt grateful to whatever it was that had prevented him from taking the dogs life for he had, in doing so, acquired a faithful and loyal friend. His journey complete, the boy and the dog lived happily on the land he had inherited, the boy becoming more striking as he grew into manhood and the dog into a magnificent beast under the continuous love and care he received. Most people failing to notice wondered what such a handsome boy would want with an ugly mongrel, he would be better off with a thoroughbred but man and beast were inseparable and to him, the dog was one of the most beautiful animals he’d ever seen. Summer had once again come to be and the man who was no longer a boy, lay sleeping once more beneath the branches of a cedar tree, the dog beside him, eyes at half mast. Above the moon glowed clear and bright, the stars twinkling, paying homage to its opalescent beauty. The boy shifted suddenly, a malevolent chill rent the air, and the dog sensed it, his hackles rising. There lurking in the shadows was a jackal, his eyes glinting feverishly, a low growl emanating from his throat. The dog moved forward, snarling in response. The jackal hesitated but the urgent need to satiate his hunger surged forth and he charged towards the dog. With a howl of rage, the dog rose to the attack and being bigger than the jackal soon overpowered him, grasping his neck between his jaws, his sides heaving. The boy, light sleeper that he was, had awakened drawing the attention of the dog to him and to another night, not unlike this night, when the boy had showed him an act of kindness. He released the jackal who whimpering, turned and scuttled off into the shadows. Gazing into the kind burnished amber eyes, the boy smiled.