by Anni Pon
A major scientific breakthrough occurs, with a little help.
|Master is a funny man. Every night, the same thing. Just when the sun sets and the world comes to life, he shuts himself inside with a fire and sits for hours on end. This sitting is very important to him. It must be, if he’d rather sit than play with me. But sometimes, when I’m a ‘good boy’, he lets me in with him while he sits.
Like tonight. He’s sitting again in his favorite spot, almost hidden by stacks of toys. His toys aren’t like mine, though. They’re thin with strange marks on them and they make a lot of rustling noise. They don’t even taste good. Trust me. I ate one once and he yelled and screamed at me, then left me outside in the cold for the whole night. I never tried that again.
My spot is on the ground, by the crackling fire. It’s the warmest in the room. Master is still hunched over in his spot. It doesn’t look very comfortable, but I guess he likes it that way. He has his hands in the grey fur on his head. It’s curly and a little matted, like my own. It’s the only thing Master and I have in common. He’s chewing on a white stick that makes my nostrils burn, even from where I’m laying. I don’t mind too much. He chews on it all the time, especially when he’s sitting.
Master has just hit his hand on his piles of toys. I raise my head to look. Is he angry with me? No, he is angry at his toys again. He yells at them for a while, and then stands and leaves the room. Now I am alone.
But I am not too worried. I know he will return shortly. He always does. Sometimes it takes longer than others, but he still comes back to sit with his toys, even when they make him angry. In the meantime, I occupy myself with an itch on my hind legs. Ah, that feels much better!
Wait! What was that? Did something move outside? Yes, there is it again! An intruder! I sound an alert, but Master does not return. What do I do? I race to the window to frighten it away. This place belongs to Master, I bark. Go away! I don’t stop until it has left. When all is silent, I swell with pride. How well I protect Master and his territory!
But now I see what I have done. I have knocked over Master’s toys! And there is cold, black liquid on them, on me, on the ground, on everything! He will not be happy. He will yell like he yelled at the toys before, and then he will send me out into the cold night air by myself. Maybe he will not let me in the room while he is sitting anymore.
I hear his footsteps. He’s returning! I whimper an apology, tail between my legs. He sees the mess I have made and screams my name, over and over. I have never seen him so upset. His face is like a fire hydrant as he rushes to his toys. They are black and soggy now. I am such a bad boy.
But as he picks up his toys, he stops. Everything is quiet, except for the fire behind me. He is looking at one that is still mostly white with a strange expression on his face. Suddenly, he lets out another yell, but it doesn't sound like before. It's like the sound pups make when they play together. It is a happy sound. I can see marks on his toy that look like: E=MC².
He throws his hands in the air and then bends down to put his arms around me, even though I am covered in the black stuff.
I am a good boy now? Master is a funny man.