We played in the After, chasing light butterflies, frolicking under void clouds.
When I remembered to return, I faced a giant. Little Miss Molly had become a very big dog, indeed.
Caleb was as smitten as ever.
Go on, said Mochi. Make puppies already.
Oh, Ma! said Caleb, and I thought I saw the tip of his nose blush.
Really, Mrs. Golde, said Little Miss Molly. I think we might, but maybe not if you were watching?
I called Mochi to me. Let’s romp in the fields! I suggested. Show me what you’ve found!
We left Molly and Caleb to their doggy date, while we ran through the meadows. Have you ever seen a solitary dog, racing apparently alone, across a field, ears flapping, tail circling, and the broadest grin on her face? You thought the dog was simply expressing the joy of life. But maybe the dog wasn’t really alone–maybe the dog was racing the spirits, and this wasn’t merely joy-of-life, but that greatest joy, joy-of-all, combining the now, the After, the physical, the metaphysical. Who says dogs aren’t superstitious for a reason? It’s because, more than any, they are ever aware of our presence.
When next I returned, I found Lucas bathing Molly.
“Here you go, Little Miss,” he said, “or should I call you, Little Missus! This will help with those aches and pains you’ve got. Not easy being a mommy-to-be, is it?”
So she was expecting! Tongue hanging out, tail drooping, feet shuffling, it looked like she was at the mercy of an uncomfortable pregnancy.
I’m OK, really I am, she said. And I had to admire her resolve.
It is always the light that takes me away, and the light that carries me back again.
The next time I came, Bosko and Majora accompanied me, and we weren’t sure what to expect.
Through the fields streaked white lightning.
I’m not looking, Bosko said, superstitious even in the After, but I can feeling something behind me.
I think it’s a pup! I said.
Can’t be. It’s white, said Bosko. Pups are brown or black or tan.
Pups can be white, I said.
Not that I’ve seen, replied Bosko.
But sure enough, it was a bouncing, racing, pouncing white pup.
Meet Dustin, said Caleb, kissing his son.
And so they had just the one pup, a little white male, with a curly tail, and a wide, high brow, and playful, laughing eyes.
Majora streaked through. This pup is trouble! she said. Black cats? Nothing! Watch out for white pups!
I had to chuckle. Dustin sat and politely waited for Majora to race past. He didn’t look like trouble to me!
Good going, Little Miss Molly, I said. That’s quite a pup you and Caleb have.
Sure is, said Molly, if I do say so myself. He may be little now, but one day, he will be a giant!
He may be, at that!
I hovered beside him.
Hello, little pup, I said. You have a look about you of your great grandpa Bobie–same sweet eyes! And a little curly tail like your grandpa, Bartholomew. And look at those sweet floppy ears! Just like Papa Caleb! You are one fine pup, Dustin! Even if you are the first white lightning pup of the family!