A pet story about dreams coming true, and the unique connection between generations
|A fire crackled between the old Man and the 3 small children. The blinking fire changed the colors of his long white hair from gold to orange to white again; his face had mysterious shadows behind the blurry veils of wood smoke. He smiled showing a few missing teeth. The long beard flowing over his crimson robe spoke of ageless wisdom and the promise of a tale of delight. The children sat legs crossed, shoulder to shoulder, eyes big with anticipation. The old man picked up his staff and pointed it to the sky and a shooting star sailed across the heavens. The children went "ah!" Then the old man began to tell a story:
Many years ago the Emperor's first born son, Chow Lee wanted a dog. "That was no problem," said his servant, Pah Kwan, and he got up and began to walk to the palace kennels. Chow Lee said "wait! I had a dream of a black and white puppy that was the size of a slipper that came to me and licked my hand. I must find that one." The servant sighed and took Chow lee's little hand; together they walked all the way across the big compound to the place where the many palace dogs were kept. It was soon apparent however that among the newly born dogs none were the size of a slipper and none black and white. The little boy was sad.
The next night Chow Lee dreamed again of the tiny black and white puppy and as soon as he was dressed and fed the next morning, told Pah Kuan, who arranged for a carriage and palace runners to take them outside the palace gates and into the surrounding town. The smell of something heavenly made them stop at the place where a young girl was selling fruit pastry. Munching on a tart, Pah Kuan asked where they could find a slipper sized black and white puppy. The young girl shook her head and offered more pastry. The delicacies were so tantalizing and nice to smell that they bought two more, and happily began to eat them. Then a young man appeared next to them, bowed low and said, “I have just heard you say you are looking for puppies. My father has many. Please follow me.”
So Pah Kuan and Chow Lee followed the young man to a little house with a great and beautiful, blossoming cherry tree in the courtyard. All around the yard dogs of all shapes and sizes ran and played and when they saw the servant and little boy many barked and ran toward them. Chow Lee laughed and sat beneath the tree to play with and cuddle the dogs, and he got many licks but none were the dog of his dream. Soon he hung his head in sadness. The Young man asked what was wrong and Chow Lee told him about the dream. The young man disappeared into the house and came out with a small box with holes, and a golden string tied around it.
Chow Lee pulled the string and lifted the lid to see a tiny little black and white puppy inside who leaped into his lap and began to lick the boy’s hand. Chow Lee was so happy. The dog was paid for and the servant and Chow Lee went back to the palace.
The fire crackled and the three little children smiled at the old man, who brought out a box with holes and a golden string and handed it to one of the children. The little boy’s eyes popped and a smile covered his face. "Happy Birthday Chow Lee!," his grandpa sung out. What will you name him?
“Shooting Star!” said the little boy.