A Dog Called Orion
– Nonfiction by Lesley Mapstone –
Featured in issue 14 of Dreamers magazine and second place winner of the 2023 Dreamers Micro Nonfiction Contest
Purchase issue 14 here
I call him Orion because his coat is pitch black like the night, and his eyes are full of light, like a million stars shining in the darkest sky, piercing a veil of darkness.
That veil has been the hardship of his life. He was born on a pile of rubbish in an empty lot next to a busy and dusty road in Kathmandu. He has survived monsoons, tick and flea infestations and violence against him. Just two months ago he was beaten and left to die with a deep serrated gash in his side and broken ribs, forced to hide in a filthy dark hole, shaking with pain.
But if you look into his eyes, you will see hope. You will see an animal that has survived severe weather, malnutrition, and disease, and finds pleasure in the softness of a bed of leaves. You will see a creature that, despite his hardships, will trust you if he knows you mean him no harm. An animal that is vulnerable and fragile for all his strength, who will search your eyes for evidence that you are kind.
I call him Orion because under the blackest of skies he lies like a gentle beacon, on his pile of burned rubbish, embodying the spirit of a warrior who has yet to be conquered by the wrath that life has offered him.
When you look into his eyes you will see the answer to a question that he will ask without speaking. Will you love him? You will see his hope.
About the Author – Lesley Mapstone
Lesley Mapstone is a Canadian photographer, writer, and animal activist. Her images have been displayed in exhibitions and magazines internationally. She is the founder of Temple Dog Rescue an organization that provides street rescue to Nepali dogs, and curator of lesleymapstone.com a website that showcases images and storytelling.
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