"Why is she crying?" The little mouse asked the dog, the dog lying outside the bedroom door. His head was pressed up to the crack at the bottom, light from the room casting the truth in his solemn eyes.
"She is crying because there is so much hurt in the world." He told this little mouse who then went scurrying by him to pick up whatever small pieces he could on the kitchen floor.
The dog pushed his nose up to the crack, smelled her sorrow. His head tilted slightly to the sound of music coming from an old record player. He feels his heart move, hoping he could comfort her as it did.
He knew she knew he was there. He also knew she wanted to spare him from seeing her pain. What she didn't know was that it was his instinct to love her...to lie ever so quietly outside that door and somehow, in some way, make the pain go away.
And so he stays, his body melting into the wood.
One ear moves softly to the left he as hears the mouse nibble those little pieces on the kitchen floor. He wishes he could tell her the world can change. His mouth cracks a small smile, only caught for a second as her sadness overflows and touches his paws, reaching for comfort.
He feels what she feels in a way not many can. So sad his eyes as he hears the record player begin to cry too. He knows she's holding her head, her hair falling softly over her face, hiding the tears she lets no one see.
But he doesn't need to see them to know they are there, doesn't need to ask if something is wrong to know something is, doesn't need to speak like they do to tell her how much she means to him.
He doesn't need to be taught to lie by that door, he just does. And as it does the record player stops. Her sobbing becomes muffled. He sighs thinking he'll stay up just a bit more, make sure she has drifted to sleep. From the corner of his eye he sees the little mouse standing beside him, moving one paw over the other so nervously as he begins to speak.
"I have to ask although I am so afraid...," he shifted a bit, looking innocently down at the carpet. "Why have you not yet eaten me?" His eyes lifted and looked into the eyes of the dog as he continued in a voice as sweet as a child. "I've walked by you several times and you have not touched me, isn't that your instinct?"
And it was that question, that question that made the dog turn his head from the door. "Silly little mouse..." He said..."Those pieces you pick up are not dropped; she leaves them there for you. You see, when she wakes up and sees the pieces are gone, she smiles.
And her smile is the only blood that feeds my instinct. I am, and always will be..., one of Annie's Dogs."
Susan A Kieffer
Annie's Dogs ™
Annie's Dogs ©2005