It was early morning, in a park on the bay
when up comes a homeless man with a stray.
For both, it was a typical day,
But Chester, excitedly, approached to play.
“Chester, come back,” his owner called nervously.
“It’s okay, Shoo-Shoo won’t bite,” the homeless man said with a wide smile.
So the owner sat down, keeping his distance.
“Why do you look so happy?” Chester asked. “You both have to search for food and find benches to sleep on, right? My owner always warns me when I go up to a stray, homeless animal.”
“But you don’t listen, do you?” The stray said, smiling.
Chester shook his head. “I guess I’m too curious.”
“I’m smiling because the sun is up, my master still loves and appreciates me, and I have made a new friend today: you. That doesn’t happen everyday.”
“I am amazed that you are so happy with so little, you don’t even have a home,” Chester said.
Shoo-Shoo nodded toward his owner. “Jackson is my home, and I am his. My home is always with Jackson. We are always there for each other. He feeds me even when he is going hungry, and I share scraps with him. We are always by each other’s side.”
Imagine that, Chester thought. “Watch this,” Chester pleaded, walking to his owner. He put up his paws in the begging posture, and his owner gave him a treat.
Chester walked over to Shoo-Shoo and dropped the treat, tail wagging.
“Look at that, you have a generous dog, Mister,” the homeless man, Jackson, remarked.
“Ah, he surprises me sometimes.” Chester’s owner seemed to shrink into himself.
“Why’d you do this?” Shoo-Shoo asked Chester, taking the treat into his mouth.
“Your attitude inspired me, Shoo-Shoo.” It was true.
His owner was gesturing that their time was up, though Chester wished he could stay out here all day like Shoo-Shoo and Jackson. Well, maybe not if it rained. He wondered what they would do if that happened. Going to his master’s side, he called, “We’ll be back. I hope to see you again. There will be more treats!”
“I hope to see you too!” Shoo-Shoo called. “You are so kind!”
Chester’s owner put the leash back on and took him to the mini-van. They were back at the park the next week. Chester didn’t see Shoo-Shoo and Jackson there, but he never forget the lesson: Home is where the heart is. He would still be looking for Shoo-Shoo every time at the park, hoping for another encounter with the wise, happy dog.
*#RDP is a daily, one-word prompt given at the Ragtag Community WordPress site. View today’s entries at https://ragtagcommunity.wordpress.com/2020/08/06/rdp-thursday-homeless/
Photo by bin Ziegler on Pexels.com