I am the dog they call Shulky, I've never figured quite why. Didn't matter much anyway. Whenever someone yelled "Shulky" - I went. Running. But that was when I used to be young. A young 'un with a wag in my tail.
That was some years back.
These days, with my hair sprouting like dry tendrils of grass, I'm more circumspect. When called, I lift my head inquiringly, more often than not. More often than not I find that I had been quite right. In not going running. To the called command. My days of nimble running are over. And done with. As you've probably gathered -
I'm getting on in years, some.
These days, I go out, with a lumbering gait, and sit in the corner of the garden - The corner that gets the first cool breeze - Under the stunted Laburnum tree - Spraying the sky with golden yellow flowering sprigs. And I look at the egg yolk moon. And something in my now sluggish blood stirs.
A howl swirls in my throat and dies.
I read instead the messages being sung - A crescendo of speaking voices from my kith and my kin. Kinfolk all, with singing voices. Singing a symphony in the great opera house. The moon listens too in a yellow hush - And weaves amongst the stars - And suddenly gets caught in the entangled branches of the stunted Laburnum tree.
And the yolk runs fluid all over the dry ash sky.
Summer is here. I lift my nostrils and sniff the air - Not a whisper of a breeze. All is still. The bald earth throbs below with the heat. The sun has gone down but has left behind his pulsing heartbeat. My eyes close shut.
And I doze in a liquid yellow dream.
From far, far away I hear a voice call - "Shulky" - A well-known voice from the liquid yellow room behind. And my heart fills with the dry ash of the night and the quiet. My bones are heavy and tired - My breath labored - My eyes dimmed. It is time to rest.
I try to tell that familiar voice calling me.
Again - "Shulky" - And though I feel a presence beside me - The voice sounds as if from far, far away. A long, long distance away. The great journey has begun. And it is time to carry on dreaming the dream.
The never-ending dream of a dreaming dog.