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Lakewood Times

Art Collaboration Piece by Sevilya Seyfulova

We were all caught in captivity.  Locked away in cages, barely ever fed and bathed.  We only ever got out when they forced us to push their sleds.  Our legs barely stand at the end of the day.  Our paws hurt from all of the running.  Our backs were aching from the weight we often carried, pushing through the cold snow. 

Some dogs were bred for this, some like myself were hunted down and trapped.  Some were big dogs and some like myself were wolves.  They clipped tags on our ears with trackers.  I still remember the sharp pain of the needle going through my ears.  Number 2022, that’s me but my actual name is Apollo.  

I remember when they took me away, it’s been a couple of months but my memory is still sharp.  I was running around through the snow when I saw a piece of meat, I was starving so I chased after it.  Little did I know I was going to be locked in a cage and be held captive.  I often dreamt about escaping but have been scared if I would have gotten caught.  Many thoughts ran through my mind.  

I kept thinking about escaping all night .  What if I did escape and never got caught then life would be so much easier.  However if I got caught I would be punished severely.  I stayed up all night trying to figure out a plan to escape.  Everynight I can break off a piece of my cage and silently run out or during training I could hide behind the tent and when everyone leaves I can run off.  

The only problem was this stupid tracker on my ear.  Maybe I can rip it off but that would be so painful.  I kept thinking of solutions then remembered how they would put these little plastic covers on our trackers so it wouldn’t get wet from the snow or else it wouldn’t work anymore.  I plan to escape five days from now so I still have time to figure out my plan.  As the days went on I was getting more nervous but i´m committed and set on this plan. 

The day has come.  I was going to run free.  The men let us out for training and after a couple of hours I went behind one of the abandoned tents.  I ripped off my plastic covering and rolled in the snow.  The green light on the tracker went red.  It was time.  I started running as fast as I could.  One of the men noticed me and yelled, ¨Hey get back here.¨  

Many men were on the chase for me and they kept screaming and shouting but I paid no attention.  My speed kept getting faster and faster.  One of the men on the sleds caught up to me and whipped me hard on my back.  I let out a loud howl.  I fell to the ground and thought this was it.  

The tall man approached me, he bent down to pick me up and I bit him.  I bit him real hard too.  He let out a roaring scream and held his hand covered in blood.  I took my chance and bolted up the hill.  After a couple hours of running I could tell I was more than far away from the troop.  

After wandering around the area I found an area to rest.  I layed down, finally feeling free.  Yet the feeling of guilt overshadowed any happiness I felt.  The other sled dogs were on my mind.  I felt bad for leaving them behind but I did what I had to do.  Night came and I brushed everything off and got some sleep.

Morning came and my stomach was rumbling.  I was trying to hunt but in a place so cold you have limited options.  I layed down looking at the sky for a minute, and all of a sudden something caught my eye.  Something was flying in the air.  I started barking trying to get its attention and it flew down  close to me at a very fast speed and I was startled.  I turned around and it was a bird. 

¨Hi my name is Suzie, what’s your name?¨

¨Oh hello, um my name is Apollo,¨ I hesitated. 

¨So watcha doing around here?¨

¨Oh nothing really,¨ I replied.

I started walking away.  I heard footsteps behind me, I turned around and she was still there.  I was a little weirded out but thought nothing of it.  I walked some more and tried finding some food and shelter.  I turn and see she’s still there.  Why is she following me?  I abruptly turned around again for the third time and said, ¨Can I help you with anything?.¨

¨Nope,¨She let out a big smile.

¨Um okay,¨ I said. 

¨Are you looking for something?¨ She asks.

¨I mean I guess, I’m just looking for food and shelter.¨

She gasps and shouts, ¨Perfect, I can totally help you with that let me show you.¨

She flew up in the air a couple of times and each time brought back something new.  The first time she brought back a pile of sticks.  Second time she brought some fishing rods.  I looked at her very puzzled.

¨What are you going to do with those?¨ I asked.

She didn’t answer, she started pecking a hole into the lake with her big pointy beak and put some squirmy worms onto the fish hooks then reeled it down into the lake.  I watched amazed with it all.  She put down the pile of sticks for us to sit on while we fished.  We caught some pretty decently sized fish and started to eat.  We glanced at each other and smiled.  I guess everything’s going to be just fine.


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