The International Writers Magazine: Shaggy Tales
Dancing in the Woods
The forest was now lonely. I stood and looked around. The woods had never been my favorite place to be. I only came here when I was with Creole, my cute poodle. He gave me some reason to run; some reason to have the forest breeze blow on my face.
We would chase each other round the woods and he would help me keep my pace up. Creole was fast, cute and adorable. I loved him like a brother. The family loved him too and this love showered on this cute poodle had made him grow to be a wonderful pet.
Right now, though, the forest was lonely. I could not find Creole. I put my fingers in between my lips and whistled thrice as was my normal way of calling him. Creole didn’t respond. I called out his name. ‘Creole, Creole, Creole!’ There was no response, just the bouncing back of my own voice. I kept walking, calling out and whistling but there was no response, no bark, not even a whimper. I just realised I wasn’t the one that was lost, Creole was. I screamed, then I woke up.
I was thankful it was a dream. I woke up panting, with my sheets soaked. It wasn’t any surprise to me, for I was fond of Creole. He was like a sibling to me and the family also cared so much about him so losing him would do a lot to me. Immediately, I turned on my bed to feel if the poodle was still there. Creole made a whining sound as my hands ran over his fur, assuring me he was still there.
Creole, for a poodle looks more like an Alsatian, or maybe he combines the quality of both dogs. He is huge, strong, fast on his limbs and can sniff out so well, plus he has all those cute furs that make some kind of fur coat around him. Even more, Creole is a pretty smart dog. He plays dog games, knows how to fetch, watches TV, knows it’s wrong to litter, and it may just stun you, Creole plays chess.
Whenever I told my friends about Creole, most of them didn’t believe he could do so much, well until they saw it. Only last week, the whole family made a video of Creole dancing to an Elvis Presley tune. It was so much fun to see a dog dance.
We got Creole for the family less than a year ago. He was meant to be a family dog, and a sort of consolation for our moving upstate, away from our grand uncle who owned a fleet of animals, among which were a number of dogs. It was at my grand- uncle’s place that I had learned so much about dogs, and animals.
Soon, Mum and dad discovered I had this fond attachment to dogs. So when we got Creole, though he was a family puppy, I was allowed to keep him most of the time. He even slept on my bed every night since the first time he got here. Creole was just enough company for me.
It was two days after we did the video with ‘dancing Creole’ that the incident occurred. I had just got back from school that Wednesday. After parking my bike, I rushed into the house. I was a little bit surprised that Creole didn’t come out yodelling and running up to welcome me as he normally did. I didn’t think much of it though as I felt the poodle must have been engaged in something else or probably sleeping. I entered the house and soon after I had taken a swig of milk from the fridge, I commenced my search round the house for Creole
‘Oh Creole, don’t be naughty. Come out now. It’s no time for hide and seek. I’ve got homework’ I had toured the sitting room and two bedrooms by now, saying the same words. I proceeded to check my room.
‘Okay Creole, I know you’re in there. Just come out ok? Hey, even if you’ve done something bad, c’mon’ I stretched out my arms and stooped down near the door of my room, expecting an excited poodle to jump into my hands any moment. Just then, it dawned on me that my dog could be lost, missing. Memories of my dream came rushing back to me and I became frantic.
In a frenzied state, I began to search all over the room. I tossed the sheets, upturned tables, emptied the closet and even checked the water closet. Creole was nowhere. Panic set in. I did one last run round the house; the kitchen attic, lawn, backyard. Soon, I had gone around the house twice, upturning everything, opening every door. No Creole.
Soon I was on the phone calling Mum, almost in tears, mumbling words she said she couldn’t understand. I couldn’t think straight any longer, my world had been distorted. Mum asked me to calm down and explain. I tried doing my best, then she said she would be here soon and that she would call the animal shelter in the area.
I went off the call and found myself staring at my lost poodle’s food dish where it sat with his name crested on it. I slumped into one of the chairs and just stared. Where could Creole be? What could have happened to him? Could he be lost, injured or...Oh no! No, he wouldn’t consider that possibility. Oh, Creole please come back. I would love you more than ever. I would feed you fish and dog biscuits. We would go for the walk in the woods you love so much. That’s it. The woods! The place I saw in my dreams. I hadn’t checked there. I always went there with Creole. In one swift motion I got out of the settee. I slid across the room, hope in my eyes and soon was on the road jogging towards the woods.
On getting there, I ran towards the spot we usually liked; the spot I saw in my dream. I whistled for Creole and then called out his name. I was scared that my dream would replay itself and that I would not find Creole here. I called his name again, fearfully this time around. No Creole. Forlorn, I turned around to leave. Just then I heard the familiar yelp of a poodle. At first, I thought my imaginations were running wild so I just kept on moving. The sound got closer and just when I attempted to look sideways, I saw the cute white poodle, his neatly combed fur coat, as he ran towards me. In utter disbelief, I opened my arms and he practically flew in. I embraced my dog, Creole. Finally, he was in my arms and nothing else mattered.
It was when the man who came behind Creole spoke up that I noticed him ‘He’s yours?’
‘Yes!’ I announced ‘Where did you find him?’
‘He jogged off with some salesman who was moving around playing Elvis Presley tunes and got lost in the woods’
I laughed boisterously. The poor poodle just wanted to dance. I hugged him tightly again. Creole!
© ADEBAYO CALEB September 2013