Man’s Best Friend
There once was a man named Arnold who had a very large dog. This dog was so big some mistook it for a horse. But a dog he was, nevertheless.
Arnold was a farmer who made his living cultivating certain crops. One day, when he was out in his fields, the dog came charging up from behind and toppled him over. Dexter was a friendly dog and he liked to play. But Arnold was at work at the moment and he had no time to play.
“Bad dog,” he yelled. “Bad dog. You have knocked me down in the midst of my work. How am I ever to finish my tasks with you playing about?”
Dexter was saddened by his master’s tone and ran off to be alone. He did not understand all the words exactly, but he knew he had somehow done wrong.
The next day, when Arnold was once again out in his fields, he came upon an interesting discovery. There in the midst of his fields lay a chest full of golden coins. With great glee he jumped up and shouted:
“I am rich. I am rich, beyond my wildest dreams. Oh how fortunate Life can be.”
And with that, he started dancing all around the chest, singing and shouting and beating on his chest.
Meanwhile, off in the distance, Arnold’s dog Dexter had caught wind of this disturbance. He raced to the scene as fast as he could, to see what was going on.
“Look,” Arnold shouted, “look at this chest of coins my dear boy. I am rich. I am rich, beyond my wildest dreams.”
The dog looked at Arnold and then at the chest. “Yes,” he thought, “this is very interesting. But why would he not play with me yesterday. I was the same dog than as I am now. Yet today he dances with glee because of some chest full of coins.”
Dexter wandered off to ponder this a bit further. “Men can be so contradictory,” he thought. “When they work, they work with intensity and without concern for simple pleasures or joys. But when they play, at least it seems they play, they appear to lose their minds. Now, I know my master’s work is not done, but he is dancing around with reckless abandon because of some chest full of coins. I must consult with some higher authority to understand this. I find this situation to be more than a simple dog such as I can fathom.”
So off Dexter ran towards the farthest reaches of the property, to a place where he knew other dogs tended to gather. Once there, he met up with a contingent of poodles who were busy discussing philosophy.
“Greetings sir poodles,” he stated. “I am here on a mission to understand my master. I believe he has gone off the rails. Yesterday I wished to play with him and he berated me and sent me away. Today I find him in a filed, dancing and singing and shouting with glee. I am puzzled by this. Can you please help me?”
“Why yes we can” the lead poodle replied. “This is not a difficult question really. Your master, we can see, is a hard working individual. So much so that he forgets the simple pleasures of life. On the other hand, when he believes hi is rich in human terms, he sees no need anymore to be preoccupied with work. So he lets go with all of his energy, in an air of celebration, believing all of his problems are over.
“Now the difficulty here is that your master has invested his success in monetary gain and not his Soul. His Soul, much like you, would like to dance and play, regardless of his so-called wealth. But he still believes that it is monetary wealth that will ultimately set him free.”
“Is there anything I can do,” Dexter then asked, “for he is my master and I have need of him?”
“Go back and see what has happened since you left,” was the reply. “Perhaps he will appreciate you better now.”
Dexter returned to the field where he last saw Arnold and found him lying in the grass weeping in despair. Dexter started licking his face, in effect asking “what can I do for you?”
Arnold looked up and smiled. “My old faithful companion,” he sighed. “You, I can always count on. Those riches I thought I found were not real after all. They were left here by children after abandoning their play. I was overtaken by my desire to escape into wealth. And here I have you my faithful companion, never once a question about your love. Thank you, my good friend. Thank you. I have much to be grateful for.”
Dexter was not sure what had happened, but he was grateful for his master’s return. After all, Dexter felt rich all the time just knowing he was loved. A tickle here, a pat there, was more than enough to confirm his worth.
“Oh well,” Dexter thought, “another day perhaps I will understand these humans. For now at least I will enjoy what I have and hope that my master does as well.”
And with that thought, Dexter ran off to rejoin his master who had decided to call it a day. The two of them walking and playing together, they were now off in the direction of their favorite swimming hole.