A short story by Rowan Blair Colver
One day, a man was walking his beloved hound Ranger down by the seaside. He would often walk his dog by the lead right up the the sandy beach and then if it was all clear, he'd untie the lead and watch as his pet dog would bound off along the shore.
This particular day, he saw a family with lots of children playing by the water with buckets, spades and most importantly, they had a picnic and a ball. Knowing that Ranger would likely help himself to the picnic, the ball or possibly both, the man decided to walk the other way with Ranger still on the lead. He knew this was a shared beach and didn't want to be any trouble. As he walked by the sound of the water washing against the sandy ground, he began to talk to his dog, like he sometimes would.
"I don't know, Ranger, here we are again in the peace and quiet, but my life is still just as noisy. There's work and the new boss is really unforgiving, I've been missing payments on my car so I can get time away, but I'll lose it next month. And then there's Jane, of course she is driving me up the wall with everything she expects, I love Jane but not feeling like a scratching post and a foundation stone. One is enough, Ranger. Thank goodness I have you, I know exactly where we are all the time."
They walked a little further and Ranger was given more run downs of his owners life problems. He didn't mind listening, but none of it made much sense to him.
"I wish, Ranger, we could have a proper conversation".
The thing is when you make wishes by the seaside, is that sometimes they come true. It could be something to do with the end of the land, the ever changing landscape of one step forward, or maybe its something in the air, but for some reason, Ranger said something back. He said to his owner what he'd been wishing he could ask ever since they met.
"Why is it you keep me, why is it you love me so much?" asked Ranger.
When his owner had stood up, and rubbed his eyes, looked behind him and stood up again, he finally answered.
"Well, its because I see you as my child. I see you as a simple and lovable being who needs me to look after you, your ways are so pure and loyal and this world is so harsh and tricky, I feel it is my responsibility to provide for you a mature and informed guardianship. I see you playing with your doggie friends, I see you doing what you like and not planning ahead, I see you not doing the things that I would do and I feel compassion for you, I feel like I want to keep you and then show you some of our ways. I teach you to do things like me, sitting down, waiting your turn, rolling over, when you emulate me I feel proud of you. Like I said, you are like a child to me, and I want to protect you from harm."
Ranger paused for a moment while he absorbed everything that had been said. Once he had understood it all, as what he heard had sounded so strange to him, he replied.
"It's funny you say that, because I feel almost the same about you".
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