Master and dog

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One day I was going to the fields, accompanied by my faithful dog, guardian of our farms and sworn enemy of those monkeys who devastate them.

It was the time of the great heat of April. My dog and I were so hot that it was only with great pain that we were able to breathe properly. I had no doubt that in the end one of us, perhaps myself, would faint. Thanks to God we came upon a thicket of clustered branches with a thick covering of green leaves.

My dog, whimpering slightly, raced towards the shadow. But when he reached it, he did not stay there, but returned to me, his tongue hanging out, his lips sagging, his pointed white teeth, bared. His sides throbbed rapidly making me realise how exhausted he was. I moved towards the shade and the dog became happier. But I decided to continue on my way. He whined plaintively, but nonetheless followed me, his head more bowed, his tail curled between his legs. He was visibly in despair, but decided to follow me whatever the consequences.

This faithfulness touched me deeply. I did not know how to appreciate the act of this animal, ready to follow me to the death without any need of his own, and without being constrained to do it by anything whatever. He was loyal just because he considered me his master. He proved his attachment to me by risking his life with the sole aim of following me and being at my side.

“Lord,” I cried in an outburst of feeling, “cure my troubled soul. Render my fidelity similar to that of this being whom I disparagingly call dog. Give me, like him, the strength to be able to scorn my life when it is a question of accomplishing Your will. And give me the strength to follow the road on which You place me without asking ‘Where am I going?’”

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