He is taken to a secret place, a dangerous place.
It was 4 in the morning and when I heard the thunder I knew Mother would be coming to wake me up to go to the bus stop. I put my big gun in the pocket of my sweat pants and headed out across the park.
There was nobody on the little bench and I was worried because Mother would be sad. I went to sit down and that's when I saw the dog. He was wearing a little red sweater and he was curled up asleep on the end of the bench. I picked him up gently and put him in my lap. Mother doesn't like any animals in the house so I just sat there holding him for awhile when two kids came up .
They were so happy to see the puppy and he woke up and was glad to see them too. He licked the rain off their faces and wagged his tail. "Thank you for taking care of our puppy," said the girl. She was all straggly and dirty and so was the boy but now they had clean faces at least. "Why are you out here now,?" the boy asked. "Are you homeless too?" I just looked down and petted the dog. I didn't want them to know where I lived. Mother would not like that. "It's okay," said the girl. "We have a place you can spend the night .
You can only stay one night because that is the rule but we have food." I didn't want to go with them but I was confused about what to do. I fingered the big gun and felt like I would be safe anywhere. It was raining so hard I could hardly see and so the girl took my hand and hurried me along. Lightning lit up the sky and I could see a bridge up ahead. The boy held the puppy and led us behind bushes and up under the bridge. There was a tiny fire burning with some scary people around it. A woman sat in the shadows coughing and nursing a baby.
Two big ugly men looked at us and then went back to eating something out of cans. I was really scared but the girl said it was okay as long as I left in the morning. She went over to a big black garbage bag and pulled out a red and green flannel shirt for me. It was so soft and warm. I put it on and they handed me a chicken leg out of a box. I sat down and ate chicken and held the dog and was very happy. I watched as two boys came in and went up to the ugly men with things in their hands. One tall boy handed the oldest ugly man a watch and got a slap on the back and a "Good Job!" for it. The other boy handed over a small purse and got a handshake and a piece of chicken for that.
Then a runty little boy with a limp came crawling under the bushes and offered up half a 2 liter of soda to the youngest ugly man. "It's all I could find in the park dumpsters sir," he mumbled. The younger ugly man struck him hard across the face, knocking him into the woman with the baby. The woman cried out weakly and went to wipe the blood from the runty boy's mouth.
The baby cried but one of the other kids took it and soothed it . I held the puppy and I was glad when the girl pulled me up to find a place to sleep. We crawled inside a big cardboard shelter and the boy lay down between us . He pulled a ratty old blanket up over us and we didn't say a word. I waited until they fell asleep and then I sneaked back outside. The ugly men were passed out drunk and everyone was asleep except for the three children around the mother and baby. "She's dead." the runty one said as I walked by. I stopped and fingered my gun. "They will throw our baby in the river in the morning." he told me.
He held the baby close and kissed its little cheek.
"Please take our baby and keep her safe for us. Mother was sick a long time. They will throw her in the river now. " I started backing up because I brought Mother a baby last week and I did not want her to have another one. The runty boy started to cry and snot was running down onto the baby's face. I couldn't stand that so I grabbed the little girl and took off . It was nearly dawn and the rain was just cold . I wrapped the girl inside my flannel shirt and started running. Then I stopped under a tree and I knew that the ugly men would not come after me.
I already knew what to do. I took the baby to the fire department and left her where she would be easy to find. Now I had to go home to Mother with nothing. She would be sad all day.
I looked down and remembered that I had on my beautiful red and green Christmas shirt. I took it off and folded it up nicely. I knocked on the door and Mother opened it and saw the shirt immediately. She went inside and put it on even though it was damp. "I love Christmas!" she said as she kissed my cheek. She went and got the baby out of brother's crib . He was wearing his bunny suit and I held him while she made us hot chocolate and pancakes.