Thursday, September 13, 2007

Another Excerpt from the Novel

“Little Hope, where are you? Hopie? LITTLE Miss HOPE! Where the heck are you? Come on, we’re waiting for dinner.”
The Woman was starting to get a bit annoyed.
“She must be hoarding a dead squirrel in the yard. She knows if I see it I’ll take it away. I don’t have time for this,” she moaned to the rest of the Pack.
She pushed the full dinner bowls to the very back of the counter and pointed at Proper and said, “Leave it,” in her most businesslike voice, and went back into the yard.
“Little Hope, dinner! Dinner dogs, come on, Hope. Hope?”
Just a splinter of worry crept around the corner of her consciousness. Where was the dog? She was always the first one when the food dishes came out, not the last. Maybe her husband had inadvertently closed Hope in the bedroom. Relieved at that notion, she ran upstairs.
“Little Hope did you get locked in here?” But as soon as she opened the door she knew that she was talking to an empty room. Now the first feeling of real fear closed around the woman’s throat. Where the hell was her dog?
She threw every door in the house open, searching in every closet, both bathrooms, and she even went down in the basement, perfectly aware of the futility of it all, but compelled to look. She looked out in the yard again, pleading “Please, Little Hope! Where are you?” She didn’t realize that she had started to cry but her face was soaked.

Her husband heard the panic in her voice. “Maybe she got out and is hunting out back. Did you look in the bedroom? Maybe she got shut in the bedroom by mistake.”
“I’ve looked in the bedroom, in the basement, in the yard a hundred times. I tell you she’s not there. Little Hope!” she yelled. “I’ll go look again.” She thought of the definition of insanity: trying the same behavior and expecting different results. This was nuts. Where was her little dog? She went back inside and threw leads on the rest of her confused dogs, who were in collective wonderment as to what the heck happened to the whole dinner process. The Human seemed to have totally lost her mind, and now, instead of giving them their bowls of food, had decided to go for a walk. The dogs were fine with that, but Buddy, the lab, thought a little reminding was in order.
“Woof,” he said, eyes smiling counterward. “You forgot our supper.”
“Buddy, come on. Get over here now. We’ve got to find Hope.”
The old lab, for the umpteenth million time, forgave the Human and wagged slowly over to her, accepting his leash.
The dogs all felt the woman’s alarm, and noticed that she was searching with her blind eyes for something. They heard her call the little one’s name over and over. Proper [Hope's litter brother] felt lost. His Human’s fright and his own loneliness were making him feel too heavy, as though he were walking in a deeply plowed field of uneven, loose earth. He was losing his footing.
They walked the entire two mile loop, down the tractor trail along the cornfield, left along the woods to the wheat field, through the woods to emerge at the soybean field, and up the hill that brought them back to the cornfield and home. The woman calling for her young dog, at times through tears, other times with an edge of anger, but calling, calling, calling. The woods filled with the Woman’s voice crying “Hope. Little Hope! Come here Hope. Where are you, Little Hope? Here Hope. Oh, Little Hope please come here.” And finally, surrounded by her dogs and her worst fears, the Woman sat on a flat field rock and heard a sound bleed from her soul. A long, loud keening sound as she knew she had lost her dog, and the rest of the pack howled her sadness to the sky.

copyright Patience C. Renzulli


  1. oh NOO! What has happened to little HOPE?!! :-(
    It's a page-turner but no page to be turned! Waah!
    (two in a day, what a treat!)

  2. Oh my, I have read all of them and with each I had leaky eyes. Each story has it's own beauty. P, you are such a blessing. Thank you for lifting a heart that has been heavy lately.

    Linda and the Daydream Crew

  3. I read your blog every day! I love the stories and enjoy reading them to the kids in the car. Yes, I can pull up your blog on my Blackberry. I also enjoy the small familiar tidbits that are woven into the stories, the description of the walk behind the old farm, the black lab that may have been inspired by Opie, etc. Thanks for doing this, it is such a gift!

  4. oh I am so late reading all this, obviously, but what a tear jerker this was!

    J in Scotland xxxx


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