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With his knife in his right hand, the boy reached again for the roasting duck. He pinched a
big piece and cut it off. He sat back down on the floor and chewed it down. Just before he could
bite the last piece, he looked down at the pupp y at the side of the fire. He extended the piece
towards its mouth. The puppy hurriedly snatched it with its young but sharp teeth.
“Finnish eating before feeding it,” the man, is father, told him while clearing meat fro m a
The boy cut off another piece, and he looked at his father as he enjoyed it. His father thought
for a while as he looked at the cleared bone, which he eased to the puppy that grabbed it with a
groan and started grinding it. Into his eyes, the boy looked as they feasted late into the night.
The orange sunlight shone through the spaces between the pieces of wood that made up the
door, causing the puppy to wake up and start barking. It played about and barked until the boy
woke up.
“You‟re okay!” he exclaimed excitedly as he sat up, watching the puppy as it limped around
and barked at the tens of chirping birds just outside the door.
“Take it outside,” his father said while still in bed.
“Why?” the boy asked in defense of the puppy.
“It wants to chase the birds,” replied his father.
Off the bed, the boy jumped towards the door, opening it as the puppy rushed out and caused
the hundreds of birds that were around the house to disperse. Beside the house, was an
incomplete store, made of mud and reeds. It was halfway in terms of height, and o n its sides,
were piles of fresh reeds and an almost depleted heap of clay that needed refilling.
As the puppy chased the birds round and round the incomplete store, the man stepped out
the door and told the boy to prepare for a trip to the river. There was no need for breakfast since
the duck had been big enough to keep them full until lunchtime.
They put on their brown, furry, sleeveless coats that reached close to their knees, and went
on to prepare for the trip. With a big, soft leather bag over his shoulder, a furry skin sheath
strapping a dagger at the side of his right leg, and a spear in his hand, the man led the way out the
door. The boy followed with the pupp y close behind him. He ran around with it as they
proceeded down the gentle slope leading away from their house.
They trekked westwards into the „tall forest‟, which had sparsely spaced, perfectly straight
trees whose high branches formed a continuous canopy a long distance above. Through the red
flower bushes growing close together between those trees, the man led the way. The excited boy
followed with most of his attention focused on the trailing puppy. Surrounding the vast spread of
red flower bushes, were taller, green bushes, which proceeded ahead.
“Carry it,” said the man as they approached a clear, shallow stream that cut through the
flower-colonized grounds. As he stepped in and started to cross, the boy excitedly picked up the
barking puppy and followed his lead.
“It barks all the time?” he noted.
“It‟s excited,” his father replied.