The Trial of Dorado

How does a dog become a man?

If he dies, if he was very good, and if he endures, he just may be born to walk this earth again, with two legs. Many good dogs have fallen by the way in pursuit of this prize. Dorado sits in front of those who would judge him and neither whimpers, nor whines. His mismatched eyes are not focused on the judges, who are each sitting on top of giant pillars, covered in shadow. He is more concerned with the scales sitting in front of him.

On this scale sits his heart, in stark contrast to the feather it’s weighed against. Amazingly, the feather does not fly away, no matter how shaky the scale becomes. As they move up and down Dorado worries. Like a duck knows North, he knows what is at stake in the balancing of these scales. He knows that if his heart weighs a grain more than the feather, he will be born a squirrel. It is the worst fate he can imagine.

Brenda always called him a good pup, but she was his person and biased. The coyote probably held less esteem for him. He had no regrets over that, if you are to try and hurt his person you deserve nothing but ire and teeth. If he has a regret, it is the pain. No one ever tells you how much bravery hurts. It hurts even as he looks at the scales, without scar to his name.

Even with the pain, if given the choice again he would throw every ounce of his fifty five pounds, speckled fur and all, against that coyote. In defense of friends and family, Dorado does not know retreat. Against the smell of rubbing alcohol maybe, but if his own are in peril he would solider on. Together they were survival, love and everything. Without them, he is lacking landmarks and legend; lost in the big lonely world.

The scales come to a stop. If his heart wasn’t being weighed across the room, it would be in his throat. He just can’t believe . He dances, he yelps, he almost pees. Being a good dog, he restrains himself from the latter. The voice of the judges speaks neither English nor any dog tongue but is understood. The voice speaks simple truth.

“Good pup, good boy.”

It was then and there that light engulfs Dorado. Dorado remembers, the beep, the sickly synthetic smell, the tired women crying. It was a bad place but somehow, it’s a good place now. In time he will forget that he was once a dog, memories pushed aside for more relevant things. He will even forget his own name. He will not forget what a friend is. He will not forget how to be brave.