Paths cross in mysterious ways. Though I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, there are times when it's hard to see the reason behind the circumstance. My encounter with the subject of my curiosity today was not intentional: thankfully, I had my journal with me so my curious eyes could observe with he sympathetic help that paper brings.
I had been out on my pre-dawn jog, a bag with a camera, water bottle, journal and various snacks jumbling around on my back. There is a hill with the best view of the sunrise I know of, and I try to go out and jog to ut at least once a week.
After stopping at my usual bench (the hill of which I speak was located on the outskirts of a public park), I sat down and waited for the sun to catch up with me. When Apollo finally raised his lethargic head, the scene before me was ethereal to say the least. The thin morning clouds were tinged with a maidenly oink, blushing as the handsomely disheveled Sun God. The awakening deity's rays twinkled poetically off the morning dew, and the brisk Autumn air made a picture of astounding clarity. Suffice to say, it was Mother Nature at her most breathtaking, a glimpse into what Eden must have looked like. I withdrew my camera from my bag and snapped a few shots before relaxing back and trying to commit the beauty before me to memory. I thought it odd how the human nature toils and strives with so much effort to imprint on the mind with such pictures of endless beauty, whereas the most gruesome pictures seem to never go away no matter how hard we try to erase them. It amused me to ponder on how much can be harbored in one mind: so many things both beautiful and awful.
As if to prove this fact of nature, the perfect silence of the morning was broken by the sounds of hoots and hollers to my right. As the sounds approached and were swallowed by the reluctantly disturbed morning air, it became apparent that the sounds were not ones of joy.
Suddenly sprinting into my line of vision was a group of teenage boys... chasing a lone teenage boy. My first thought, oddly enough was: Tag, you're it. But upon seeing the look of earnest fear in the Chase-ee's face, and the looks of malicious glee in the faces of the Chasers, I knew that this was no children's game. No: from the appearance of this hunt of the fox by the hounds, this was not a child's game, but rather the fickle game of Life.
Not all too far away from me (maybe a little more or less than 50 yards), the Fox of this unfolding scene tripped over his feet and nearly collided head-long into a street lamp. Without time to recover himself, the Fox was soon surrounded by a pack of snarling, swaggering Hounds. The Head Hound leaned down and roughly picked up the Fox, oozing self-assurance and male-dominance all the while. His intent was unclear, his demeanor showing no suddenness in action. No, whatever the Head Hound was going to do to the Fox was not going to be an action of recklessness. It was going to be well-thought through and unexpected.
It was then that Apollo's bright, watchful eye shed some light on the subject. On the Fox's head laid a crisp white circle of cloth, only covering the top-back part of his head. A dark Star of David, the exact color obscure to me from this distance, was embroidered on it, proudly reflecting the light of Apollo's first rays. The Hounds, on the other hand, had no such head coverings.
Because of the clear, unpolluted air I could hear a fraction of the conversation that otherwise would have been lost. What I managed to gather was:
"What're you running from, Beanie Boy? Too good for..."
"... never see you anymore, Beanie! Can't you're God share you?" The word 'God', even from this distance, was spoken with such scorn and loathing that it made me shudder.
Another Hound was beginning to look like a bloodthirsty animal, wanting to tear his canines into the Fox's flesh. But the Head Hound's controlling disposition was set on intimidation through mockery. The tactic seemed to be working. The Fox broke down.
"Please, just let me go! I've never done you any harm, I -"
But the Bloodthirsty Hound lost control and, before his leader could stop him, punched the Fox square in the face. Apollo apparently could stomach the scene no longer, and hid his face behind a temporary tuft of cloud, a maiden's handkerchief. It was obvious that the god had grown weary of the infidels, and had now thought it time for their reward.
For when the Great Eye of the Heavens revealed itself once more, he did not arise alone. From the hill to my left bounded up, like some majestic prophesy, a dog - a great black boxer, I think - barking as he made his way up the sidewalk.
It was only when the dog came close enough for the Hound's to recognize it that they paid it any attention at all. A weasley looking Hound noticed the defensive animal first.
"It's the demon dog! Run!"
The more craven of the Hounds scattered, leaving only the Bloodthirsty and the Head Hound. As the boxer neared the scene, Bloodthirsty reared back an unforgiving foot with mal intentions, kick aimed directly for the Savior's ribs. Just as the Fox cried out in fear, the Savior dog sank his teeth deep within Bloodthirsty's ankle, effectively letting him know who the real hound was. I like to imagine that he bit all the way to the bone.
The boy howled in pain and struggled out of the dog's deadly grip only with the help of his furious leader.
"You'll pay for this!" the Head Hound bellowed as he and his wounded soldier retreated.
"This isn't over!"
The only response was from the Savior, who barked viciously, as if to tell the so-called Hounds to remember their place.
The Fox gingerly laid a hand on the Savior's head, whose entire demeanor changed at the touch. His tail began wagging, and he licked the Fox's hand, nuzzling into his charge. Though I couldn't hear the exact words he spoke, the Fox's spirit seemed to say the words, "Thank you".
Apollo - or perhaps, a God of a different faith and name - shone on the pair kindly as the walked to whatever destination I cannot and will not follow them to. The last I saw of the Fox and the Savior, they were walking away from me. The Fox's symbol of faith shown proudly and now victoriously on his head, unscathed, a beacon of devotion.
Until next time,
~ Curious Eyes