Luz Lanch de Bairacli Levy


The Silver Fox and other Stories
A collection of
 short stories

by Luz Lancha de Bairacli Levy


daughter of Juliette de Bairacli Levy.
Published online by Ash Tree Publishing


An Adventure
(part 1)
by Luz Lancha de Bairacli Levy © 2007


The Silver Fox and other Stories - Table of Contents


We decided to go away, just Talma and I. We had both had enough — her children, my husband — everyone seemed to be getting on everyone else’s nerves. It was the heat. It had become unbearable! One could no longer sleep because of the heat. People everywhere were bad tempered because of this. Everything was blamed on the heat!

So, we booked a small house for a week in a mountain village. Every winter our chosen destination transforms into an extremely crowded ski-resort. Now we hoped that we would find it deserted.

“What are you going to do there this time of year?” my sarcastic friends at work inquired.

“Breathe,” I replied, “Breathe lots of cool fresh air.” Their envious faces sneered at me.

Just as we were about to set off on our journey, I received a phone call. My friends, with whom I was to leave my dog, phoned to say that they could not manage it.

“. . . because of the heat. We are so sorry. . . .”

So we ended up having to haul my large golden Afghan hound along. Poor fellow, it would have been cruel to have left him behind in the oppressive stuffy city while we were off to breathe clean invigorating mountain air.

We set off in my friend’s car. It was early on a hot breathless morning. We were in high spirits. Even the dog seemed to appreciate the cool breeze coming in through the open windows. With the suffocating city behind us, we at first drove along the coastline, then after an hour or so, we branched off to the right, towards the mountains of the north. As soon as we took the turn I gave out a long sigh.

“Anything wrong?” Talma asked me.

“On the contrary, I feel happy and free. I haven’t felt this way in years!”

“Great! I feel the same way. We are going to have fun, fun, fun!” Talma said, drumming her hands on the steering wheel.

We stopped at a roadside magazine stand to stretch our limbs. A young man wearing an olive-green army uniform came up to us.

“What a lovely dog! Do you perhaps have a puppy for sale?” he asked politely.

“No,” I replied. “He is a male.”

Talma caught my eyes and transmitted a “wait a minute” sort of message to me, then she turned towards the young man. “Are you really interested in a puppy? They are expensive you know; this is a very special dog! He has papers and all that.”

Trust Talma — always looking out for a business deal. She continued her sales pitch, “If you’re serious, give us your phone number. We will let you know when there are puppies for sale,” she said, smiling sweetly.

The young man shot me an icy glance. He then brought out from an elegant leather wallet a fancy-looking business card. This he placed gently into Talma’s hand and then he walked away.

Talma looked at the card and blushed. “You silly thing!” she scolded me, laughing. She held out the card for me to see. Fine gold lettering spelt out the name of one of the richest families in the country.
“He could buy a pack of dogs like yours if he wanted to,” she exclaimed.

“So what! He didn’t look like much!” I said in self-defense. We got back into the car and began to maneuver along the narrow winding mountain road. The air became gradually cooler, scented with wild thyme and pine.

“Just think of what you’ve missed . . . all that money!” Talma said in a dreamy voice.

“What money?”

“Come on, don’t say you didn’t notice the way he looked at you!”

“Talma, leave me alone!” She was forever fond of teasing me, and of course I didn’t take her words seriously, but nonetheless they succeeded in carrying me to far-off lands, where people can afford packs of Afghan hounds, and much more. . . .

The landscape became serene and the first few pine trees came into view. We continued the slow pleasant climb which would eventually deliver us to our destination.

We stopped the car as soon as we spotted the small village, to take in the view from a distance. On the opposite side of the mountain, red rooftops peeped out from amongst the deep green pine trees. A light blue swimming pool glittered in the sun.

“Look!” Talma called out excitedly. “Like toys!”

I rested my eyes upon this quiet, green, simple village, but then something else stole into my vision. The village appeared to be surrounded by a high steel fence. Coiled barbed wire traveled along the top of this unnatural barrier, and I saw a large open metal gate, what looked like the only entrance into the community.

“Strange,” I commented.

“Don’t forget where we are!” Talma said.

“How could I?” I thought, eyeing the unnatural double-decked fence. We were less than a mile from the much-feared Syrian border.

We drove down to the village. We arrived at the reception office after passing through the security gate. There was no one in sight. The air was clear and crisp, and scented with the lovely fragrance of the many pine trees.

A young woman came up the path, accompanied by two huskies. I immediately feared that a fight might break out amongst the dogs, but to my surprise these hosts appeared to be instantly friendly towards their guest.

We were taken to our house: three small rooms with a lovely porch overlooking the valley below. Lush green lawn completely surrounded the house. The woman informed us that both a bar and a television room would be available for our pleasure in the evenings if we wished.

In the afternoon, accompanied by the three dogs, we set out to explore the area. The huskies turned out to be sweet-natured and playful, so we welcomed their company on our stroll. We ambled along the road circling the village, just outside the boundary fence. Beyond the road, in the valley below, began the zone known as “no-man’s land” — the area between the Israeli and Syrian borders.

“Imagine!” I exclaimed. “That is another country just over there.” I pointed to the dark, forested hills immediately across the valley from where we stood. “Those birds there are abroad!” I added laughing. I turned to Talma and said, “We live in such a small country, and we are completely surrounded by hostile neighbors; this has great significance for us as a nation.”

Talma, however, was not one for politics, and she answered me, “It feels like being in the Alps!” She breathed in deeply the cool crisp air.

When evening came we went to the bar. After a while a group of soldiers trundled in from a late-night patrol. They appeared very attractive to us in their camouflaged uniforms, and they looked at us also with interest. We were the only women there, except for the young woman who had met us on our arrival.

One of the men especially attracted my attention. He was extremely handsome, with jet-black hair and honey-colored eyes. To my surprise he came up to me.

“They tell me that that strange looking dog outside belongs to you,” he said in Hebrew, but with a slight accent.

I knew then, upon hearing him, that he was a Druse Arab. Men of that mysterious tribe serve in the Israeli army; they are greatly esteemed soldiers, known to be truly brave and highly honorable.

“Yes,” I replied, “he is my dog — any problem?”

“No, no, he is so unlike any other dog I have ever seen, he’s almost like a mountain goat!” the man said smiling, then he walked away.

“My God!” Talma said quietly. “What a gorgeous looking man! I am going to get a dog like yours as soon as I get back! Just look at the success you have had in only one day!”

continue to part two....

 

by Luz Lancha de Bairacli Levy © 2007
for reprint permission, contact Ash Tree Publishing
PO Box 64 Woodstock NY 12498
or write to: wisewoman@herbshealing.com

 

 

Click here for more stories by Luz, daughter of Juliette de Bairacli Levy
The Silver Fox and other Stories - Table of Contents

 

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