An Adventure (part 2)
by Luz Lancha de Bairacli Levy © 2007
...continued from part
The Silver Fox and other Stories - Table of Contents
The nine o’clock news came on. Everyone present became silent,
and the broadcaster’s voice filled the room, but I heard him
relate nothing of particular importance.
That night we went to bed early, feeling rather exhausted from the
long day and the change of air. I awoke early the following morning,
with the birds chattering away gaily outside my window. I opened the
front door and let my dog out. The two huskies came up at once to
greet him with their wagging tails and then the happy trio scampered
off down the lane.
I sat outside on the steps to enjoy the beauty of my surroundings.
The orange glow of the early morning light lightly touched the tree
tops, magically illuminating the tall slender pines. The valley below
still hid in dark shadow, thereby retaining its mysterious allure.
The air felt cool and stimulating. It filled me with energy.
Talma came out and joined me. “Ah, what exquisite beauty!”
she said. “Let’s go for an early morning dip before breakfast!”
“The water will be icy,” I protested.
“It will do us good!” she replied.
The water was indeed icy as I plunged into its crystal depths. After
our refreshing swim we had a hearty breakfast, then we decided to
go back down to the pool and lie in the sun.
Suddenly, towards late afternoon, I realized that I had not seen my
dog since the early morning, when I had let him out of the house.
I pictured how he had then galloped off down the lane with the huskies.
I informed Talma that I was going to circle the village in search
of my dog. I left her to soak up the sun’s warmth on her own.
I proceeded along the asphalt road that ran parallel to and just inside
the high fence — bordering off the village from “no-man’s
land.” Just past the fence, the land dropped deeply to the valley
below. On a distant hill, I noticed for the first time, a military
observation point. My heart missed a beat at the thought of how near
I was to the dreaded enemy territory.
I was still upon the road, approaching an area thick with tall pine
trees, when, in the distance, I heard the barking of dogs. It was
strange to hear so many dogs barking together so excitedly. I ran
towards the commotion. I came upon a tall metal gate like the one
through which we had entered the village the day before. It stood
slightly open, held ajar by a large stone. I moved the stone with
my foot, just enough for me to slide through the narrow opening. I
ran down along the path into the dark shadow of the valley below.
I was in its depths, surrounded by trees, when I noticed a narrow
lane running up the other side of the mountain. I dashed up it, stopping
only to catch my breath from time to time.
Suddenly, in the distance, I spotted a large pack of dogs. I quickly
scoured the pack, but was unable to see my dog amongst the others.
I stood waiting to catch my breath, my heart still beating rapidly
from the effort of the steep climb.
Then I saw my dog standing proudly on a large rock. I admired him
from where I stood, and I saw the long, last rays of the setting sun
create a golden halo about him. It was a magnificent sight: the handsome
golden dog drenched in a brilliant orange glow standing tall against
the majestic green pine trees. It was only then that I realized the
cause of all the barking and commotion. In the midst of the snarling
angry pack, stood a large, black, frightened wild pig. My Afghan appeared
to be the leader, orchestrating the attack from his rock.
I whistled to him, and called his name, but he took no notice of me.
He was totally immersed in his role as king; I understood that he
was following his instinctive fascination in the hunt of this dangerous
prey, and would, regardless of me, play his part in the deadly game.
The sun began to descend behind the tall pine trees. The valley below
became a jumble of obscure shadows. I suddenly realized that I was
standing on enemy land!
I turned and again whistled to my dog, but they had all vanished —
the dogs, and the wild pig. I was frightened, and I didn’t know
what to do. I only knew that I didn’t want to leave without
my dog, so I clambered quickly and warily further up the lane to reach
the clearing where I had seen the dogs. There was no sign of them
anywhere. I heard distant barking come from the valley, which was
now in thorough darkness.
I ran back down the lane. Cold air blew into my face. I planned to
find my way back to the opening in the fence, hoping that my dog would
find his own way out.
The valley was all darkness, but I somehow managed to reach the gate.
Someone had removed the stone which had previously held it slightly
open, and had placed a heavy padlock upon it. I now saw what had escaped
me earlier: that it too was crowned with a triple row of barbed wire.
The fearsome realization struck me that this wasteland had been sealed
off for the night. My heart beat rapidly as I realized that I had
been locked into that much-feared “no-man’s land”
— where vicious wild pigs roamed freely, or were hunted by packs
of hungry dogs, and, as if this were not enough, there were the terrorists
to consider as well.
The only alternative to waiting right there at the gate till daybreak,
was to walk parallel to the fence, in the hope of finding another
gate somewhere along the way. Luckily, before I set out, the dreadful
thought came to me that the area would of course be thoroughly mined.
I had visions of my legs being blown off, and of waiting half-consciously
to be found and eaten alive by hungry wild dogs, or worse yet, by
the ugly wild pigs. I looked along the line of the fence as far as
I could see in the fading light. Too far away for anyone to hear me,
the bright lights of the village formed a protective glittery chain
around its inhabitants.
I sat on a rock and huddled up close to the fence, hoping that it
would not suddenly become electrified, and that someone from the village
might miraculously pass by and spot me.
I tried not to look around me, in case I might spot the enemy in the
distance, or any one of the many other threats that might come upon
me. I imagined a sudden blow hit me from behind, as if I had been
struck by an enemy bullet, or as if the sharp fangs of a wild pig
were ripping open my skin.
I huddled up closer now to the fence, and prayed to God that someone
would find me soon. I saw my entire life go by in flashes.
There was not one star in the sky; the entire area was in profound
blackness. But, very suddenly, as if to comfort my abandoned soul,
a silver moon appeared from behind the dark mountain, and it illuminated
the land in a silvery light. In the moonlight I could see the fence
clearly now, and in the distance the village became visible. I then
realized how much I was trembling from cold and fear. A crisp wind
circulated around me.
Suddenly, shattering the silence, I heard a rush of heavy hooves come
from behind me. I whirled around to see the wild pig charge up the
lane towards me at great speed. It was still being hunted by the dogs!
I spotted neither my dog, nor the huskies amongst them.
Before I could consider what to do to save myself, a loud shot pierced
the air. Immediately the wild pig keeled to the ground, and the dogs
scattered off in terror.
The jeep’s bright spotlight beamed upon the black hairy body
of the wild pig.
“It is all right! Have no fear!” a man called out in Hebrew.
A tall figure hurried up to the gate from the opposite side. His form
was illuminated by the strong white light radiated from the vehicle
He succeeded in quickly opening the heavy padlock. He came up to me.
“Everything is all right. Have no fear!” he said, holding
out his hand to assist me to my feet.
It was the Druze whom I had met the night before at the bar.
I was speechless from shock and relief.
“We saw your dog. Your friend said that you had gone off to
look for him. She thought that you had brought him back, and that
you were relaxing in the television room. Later, when she couldn’t
find you there, she informed the people in the bar and they contacted
us. We came out immediately. I don’t understand why they didn’t
become alarmed sooner. Why did they wait till nightfall? Here, take
this.” He handed me a thick army blanket which I put over my
“The wild pig . . . what are you going to do about him?”
I asked as we got into the jeep.
“Don’t worry about him, the jackals will soon find him!”
he replied. A shiver ran down my spine at the thought that they could
easily have found me too!
We drove to the village bar, where everyone hurried out to meet us:
Talma, the group of soldiers, the young woman from the reception,
even my dog was there looking extremely pleased with himself. Talma
came up to me and gave me a warm hug. The men from the night patrol
got into their jeeps and drove away into the pale silvery moonlight.
by Luz Lancha de Bairacli Levy © 2007
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