Nog the Dog
Izzy found him. He lay in the fallen leaves beneath The Great Oak. When she saw him, she thought he was sleeping. She even thought how peaceful he looked. Nog, however, could not be roused. As realization dawned oh her, Izzy felt the tears building, until her eyes could hold then no longer. She sat and wept until all the tears were gone.
Izzy then looked down at the calm features of the storytelling being and picked him up. He was surprising light, despite his bulky frame. Many faces peered out of the trees at her as Izzy walked home. Whether she noticed or not, she ignored them, a look of determination set on her face. The eyes that followed her soon told the ears of all who would listen, that the young witch who lived in the cottage by the stream was carrying the body of the great raconteur. By the time Izzy was home, most of the land knew of the death of Nog, and were acting accordingly.
Once home, Izzy placed Nog's body on the big flat rock behind her house. She then knelt before him and spoke to all of the creatures around, and told them to leave the body alone. It could be theirs when she had buried him.
As she was getting up Izzy noticed a herd of fairies just outside the clearing her house sat in, looking at her. Izzy knew they could come no further, due to the protections she had put around her home, she also found it strange that they would even come this close. All of fairy kind knew of her enchantments. It was as she was pondering this that she noticed they were beckoning her over. It was a few seconds before Izzy moved, as she had been too shocked to. Knowing of their trickery, though, she moved with caution and rested a few feet before them, safe within her spells.
"What do you want, pixies?" Izzy spat out the last word.
"Please fair witch," spoke the eldest of the group. Izzy nearly fell over when he said "fair witch", but managed to control herself to hear him say, "We wish to pay our respects to Nog. He was a dear friend to our kind, and regaled us with the most wondrous tales."
Izzy thought for a few minutes, and could not come up with any good reason not to let them.
"I will release my spells for you to sit by Nog, but not over my house. Once you have had your time with him, they will go back up, understand?"
All the fairies nodded.
"It will take a few minutes for me to reverse my charms. I will let you know when it will be safe to approach."
Izzy turned back to the house. She could release the spells with a wave of her hand, but wanted to prepare herself before she let the fairies free on her land. She looked across at Nog and saw people of all kinds, starting to gather around the edges of her defenses. There must have been hundreds of them, and yet she could see more adding to their numbers. A man who was mounted on a horse and dressed in fine clothes that were well cut pushed his way to the front, and shouted over to her
"I say, what the bloody hell is going on here! What do you think you are doing wench, withholding the body of Nog the Great, from me like this?"
"I do beg your pardon, sir," replied Izzy, "I did not realize Nog socialized with boneheaded nobles"
"If Nog's body did not lie behind you witch, I would chop off your head for talking to me in such a manner"
Izzy wasn't listening to him. She was distracted by the crowd behind him which had already doubled in size since the bonehead had started talking. Izzy suddenly understood that Nog was not hers alone, it seemed that he had touched many people like he had touched her. He was the world's, she thought, and the world deserved its goodbye.
"Ok, you may all come in," she said, addressing everyone. "But only in small groups. I can't have you all trampling my flowers and vegetables." She stared out and the expectant faces, all listening intently.
She determined the order based on how close people lived The Great Oak and began to let them in. And so it was that the land of The Great Oak paid their respects to a dog on a rock.
People of all shapes, sizes, colors, and hairiness passed through her property. Izzy had never seen so many different species. Some she had read about in books, others she had never even dreamed of. Some sang songs; others just sat by the body and cried. Others told her of their times in the presence of that soppy old dog, of the stories he had told them, of the ways he had brightened up their days. A few of them argued over what his best stories were or when they had first met him, always laughing in the end when they remembered a joke or two he had told them.
Izzy sat back and watched and listened as the thousands of people passed though over the next week. She realized how shut off she had been from people, only counting Nog as her friend, and he she hardly saw at all. She saw how rare and special all of these people were, brought together by an old dog who told stories and dirty jokes. A dog who made them all laugh and cry and made time to make each and every one of them feel that specialness and rareness and realize their potential. She cried many more times over that week, whether through sadness or happiness, she also made countless new friends.
After eight days of mourning, only those who had traveled the farthest remained. They had set up camp around her home, so they could rest until it was time to return to their homes. They helped Izzy to dig the grave that had been agreed to be in a far corner of Izzy's land. An ornate stone had been carved by the elves and many others had brought gifts that were used to mark the spot where he now lays.
Izzy is never lonely anymore. Often she has someone visiting the grave, to tell her stories of that great dog. And she smiles to herself, safe in the knowledge that here in her garden, thanks to a soppy old story telling dog, all are friends and all are equals.
Created: Jul 22, 2010Document Media