“I suppose you want more, huh?” Roger sat at his kitchen chair and watched the mutt lick every last scrap of meat from his plate. When he was finished, the dog sat and stared at Roger, head cocked like he was waiting for instructions.
Roger grunted and hauled himself to his feet. He walked to the dry sink and picked up a hunk of bread and the last of the cured pork shoulder. There was plenty more hanging in the shed outside.
“This is the last of it,” Roger told the dog as he stooped to place the vittles on the china plate. “When you’re done eating, out you go.”
It had been many years since Roger had had a dog. Heck, it had been many years since Roger had had a companion of any sort.
When this fella showed up at his doorstep just before night fell, though, he figured he could at least help out a world-weary traveler. And it wasn’t really so bad to have someone to share a meal with.
Roger scratched the mongrel behind both ears, and the dog didn’t even flinch while he ate. Most animals Roger had known would take your hand off if you got within a few feet of their food.
“I’ll let you sleep in the old chicken yard tonight, but there’s a hole in the fence. If you’re gone in the morning, I won’t come looking for you.”
The dog finished his second helping of supper and curled up at Roger’s feet.
“Now, don’t go getting too comfortable, old man,” Roger said. “I suspect you won’t be here long. Besides, I got a couple things to do before we can go to sleep.”
Roger headed outside, to mend the fence.