“Make sure that you don’t burn the house down”. That was his only instruction. He never minded anything else other than that, not even the broken dishes, all the books that were made scattered all over the living room, nor his ruined fancy floor rug, for his instruction was simple, and direct.
He slings on his leather bag over his shoulder, crams the front door keys and the cigarette lighter in his left-hand pocket and takes one last look in the mirror to check on his neatly combed hair and his color matched buttoned shirt and jeans.
The housekeeper wags his tail, pants a little, but breathing quite calmly. This is not the first time his master is going to leave him of the keep while he is away. The entrusted one runs and jumps on the couch to watch his old friend get in the car to start the ignition.
He barks a couple of times behind the dusty window pane. It hasn’t been cleaned since the last time she was around. A thought circled inside the mutt’s head.
But it was not his job to clean the house, for him, he was given something more profound to do, nobler, a far more dignified duty.
He does his rounds, walked down the halls, past the family photos that lined evenly sitting atop the old narra drawer. Some of them were colored, but most were taken in black and white. He will see them all again maybe at the end of the year, but today and the rest of the coming days, the halls will be quiet.
The patrol keeps on, the gaze was fierce, but his movements were silent. His pads matched perfectly with the wooden floors.
Across the side table and the leather chair of his master, strolled down the pathway between the living room and the dining area, surveying consistently, turning his head from side to side.
He reaches the kitchen, snout laying low, his forensic tool. He circled around the tiled plain, in the corners and finally rested on the doorsteps of the backdoor. He was looking at the green yard through the spaces. He knew something was going down. He just didn’t know when. But he intends to be there when it does.
He may be over anticipating. But it is always good to manage your expectations, his master would say.
For him, he was knighted with this solemn duty and the instruction was simple.
Don’t burn the house down.
And as he rested his muzzle next to his paws, his brisket laid flat against the floor.
He closed his eyes for a while and thought of the older times.
When his fuzzy golden fur was sandy on most days, and his cold nose was warmed by the early morning sun.
On how the wind from the waves of the beach sailed the rivers of his hair and cradled him to sleep.
He will never learn how to read and much about literature.
But that was the poetry he knew.
He relished those collarless days.