Chapter 2:

The Stray Princess

The Stray Princess


 “Princess, did you sleep well?” The girl is smiling while touching Princess’ face gently “Let’s go to the park and play together”Bookmark here

The girl puts the leash on the dog and goes outside with her mom and dad. They walk for a while until a small park appears in the distance.Bookmark here

This park is filled with smiling children and playful dogs, when they arrive the girl pats Princess’ head. The feeling is so soft and warm so they both let a smile come out.Bookmark here

“Here!” The girl take a tennis ball and trows it, Princess runs after it.Bookmark here

When the ball touches the ground, the dog comes running near by and starts sniffing the area until her nose touches it. The smell of that rubber has been one of her favorites, but more than that is the taste. So Princess opens her muzzle and grabs the tennis ball. Oh that sweet flavor, simple yet delicious.Bookmark here

She chews the sphere a couple of times and lays on the floor to keep playing with it. But then her eyes open, she was moving her mouth while sleeping and saliva was coming out of it. Bookmark here

Princess is still there, in the real world, somewhere in an unknown cold forest while tied up to a tree. Rain drops fall from the tree’s leaves and crash to the ground where a puddle was created last night.Bookmark here

“Is he lost?” Princess wonders looking at the place where she last saw the neighbor “He is taking so long to come back”Bookmark here

She is curled up on the floor, looking at the puddle near by where tiny circles appear each time a drop falls into it. The sun is coming out and some birds can be heard chirping at the distance.Bookmark here

“I am thirsty” She thinks without taking her eyes off the tiny pool of water and dirt.Bookmark here

She gets up and tries to get closer to the water but the leash doesn’t let her go too far, her response is to pull harder but her neck starts to hurt after a while. She turns around and starts pulling again but is no use, now she is also feeling pain in her nape.Bookmark here

Princess looks at the puddle, so near and yet so far. She whimpers but no one hears her.Bookmark here

The day passes, the wind blows. In this forest, tied up to a tree our Princess lays on the floor. Her back is against the grass, she is looking at the clouds that slowly move in the blue sky.Bookmark here

“Where are you? I want to play” the image of the girl doesn’t leave her mind.Bookmark here

Time moves slowly. She sees some birds fly by, their songs would usually make her smile but somehow she doesn’t feel that will happen today.Bookmark here

“I want to eat, I want to drink” She moves her eyes and looks at the place where he disappeared.Bookmark here

Princess whimpers again and turns around, now her stomach touches the grass. She remembers the girl’s laughter and that warm smile with the missing tooth, that memory makes her tail move a little bit without noticing. Bookmark here

The stomach grumbles, the light of the day shows that noon is here and that is time to eat. Princess gets up and starts sniffing the ground.Bookmark here

“Can I find something to eat?” She wonders.Bookmark here

Suddenly a faint aroma reaches her nose, it comes from near the tree trunk. She approaches and notices the bag of dog food that the neighbor left there with her.Bookmark here

Luckily is not as far away as the puddle so she can use her front paw to touch it and when she does it the bag falls to a side with the upper part pointing towards her, it was open so many small brown pebbles broke free moving in various directions but a majority created a little mountain of food.Bookmark here

Princess gets a memory, something similar happened once: When she was just a pup, one day she used her teeth and paws to open the bag of dog food in the kitchen. Many pebbles fell all across the place, she was happy eating them but the girl’s father was angry and yelled at her for doing so… Since then she always waited for someone to give her a signal in order to eat, but today she is alone.Bookmark here

Looking at the food, with saliva in her mouth, she hopes to get that signal that allows her to eat. But nothing happens, there is no one else there.Bookmark here

“Should I… eat?” She doubts, her heart is beating fast. Then the stomach grumbles again. “ugh, I can’t hold up anymore”Bookmark here

Princess lowers her head and opens her mouth, finally she starts eating the food. It is the cheap flavor that the neighbor bought, but is still food. Bookmark here

There are many creatures in the animal kingdom that understand the importance of saving food for emergencies, most of them are wild animals. But sadly Princess is from one of those species that don’t understand such concept, and she isn’t wild so the idea of leaving some food for later never crosses her mind. In fact, there are some animal species that don’t understand very well what means to be full and they will just keep eating, and one of those species are dogs.Bookmark here

Princess finishes the little mountain of food then she starts sniffing the grass, searching for the lost pieces that were scattered and eating them each time she finds one. Bookmark here

“I think those are all” Bookmark here

Then she turns at the open bag on the ground, there is still food in there. In silence she stares the bag while the smell of the food inside it reaches her nose, she swallows and starts approaching.Bookmark here

By instinct alone her muzzle was already inside the bag without her noticing. That smell, so different to her usual food but yet somehow delicious. She continues to munch loudly for some minutes until the food starts to disappear, the last croquettes are hard to reach at the bottom of the bag so she uses her tongue to get them. But the moment of joy suddenly ends when Princess realizes that the bag of food is empty.Bookmark here

“I’m still thirsty” she thinks moving her head and looking again at the puddle, then starts walking slowly but the leash pulls her “Oh, right...” while eating she forgot that is still tied up.Bookmark here

Princess pulls continuously for almost thirty minutes, but is still trapped. She extends one of her front paws in the water’s direction and feels how some of the claws touch the liquid.Bookmark here

“Almost there”Bookmark here

Still applying force to the paw she pulls it back moving mud and grass in her direction, without noticing a little canal was made and the water from the puddle starts moving like if it were a gutter.Bookmark here

Princess’ eyes shine with a spark of joy, the water is getting closer and she finally is able to drink. Bookmark here

SPLOSH, SPLOSH, SPLOSHBookmark here

Her tongue touches the water and comes back to the mouth, the liquid travels down the throat quenching a little bit her thirst.Bookmark here

“It doesn’t have a good taste” She thinks while feeling the flavor of the mud in the water.Bookmark here

Back to the time when she was living with the girl, Princess always had tab water served inside a plastic bowl and it had a totally different taste a much better one. Living with the neighbor the water tasted the same as good but it was only served once at noon along with the food.Bookmark here

Even if the taste is different there’s not much to do about it, so she keeps drinking. Each time her side of the canal is empty then she digs again to get more water flowing, this continues until the water is over.Bookmark here

There are other puddles more far away, but Princess realizes that not even digging with all her might it will reach them. Besides, the sunlight is over them and they are starting to evaporate. Thankfully the leaves on the branches of her tree protects her by giving a big shadow, they also were useful last night receiving almost all the rain drops like an umbrella does.Bookmark here

Her first day as a stray dog is a long one. The leash doesn’t let her go very far from the tree, but is tied in a way that she can move around the trunk. Bored, she walks around the tree and sees that everything is surrounded by more and more trees, the green landscape seems to be infinite.Bookmark here

The forest is silent, the only occasional sounds are the ones made by the leaves when the wind blows and the chirping of the birds.Bookmark here

Two little birds come to the ground searching for worms and materials for their nests, Princess watches them.Bookmark here

“Flying dogs” She thinks, this is the name that she uses when referring to birds. “I wish to be one and leave this place” Then sighs loudly and the birds are scared so they leave flying.Bookmark here

Princess watches them moving freely in the sky and can’t help feeling a bit of jealousy Bookmark here

The sun starts to say goodbye and the darkness comes to the forest, soon the heat in the grass also vanishes and another cold night begins. Princess curls in an effort to feel warm and it actually works but the bed of grass and dirt is not so soft as she wishes.Bookmark here

Waking up early she feels the urge to urinate, its dark but the senses of dogs are sharper than the human species so she can see a little with all those shadows.Bookmark here

HOOT, HOOTBookmark here

The sound of owls fill the silence. Princess feels the collar on her neck, she is tired of a day of pulling with no result, so now giving up she searches again a place near the tree were she can let all the liquid inside her body to just leave.Bookmark here

“It can’t be near to were I sleep” She doesn’t like too much the idea of sleeping near her bodily functions but she just can’t hold it anymore. In fact, this awful feeling reminds her of the time she spent locked up in the neighbor’s backyard.Bookmark here

Sniffing the grass on the other side of the tree she finally finds the perfect spot, so opening her legs near the ground she can now feel free for a couple of seconds while the hot fluid leaves her body.Bookmark here

“So warm, so relaxing” Bookmark here

Princess feels relaxed, but deep down the guilt appears in her heart. She doesn’t like this and feels dirty but there was no other option… It was just like in the neighbor’s backyard, she was trapped.Bookmark here

After finishing, she goes back to the side of the tree were she was sleeping and closes her eyes again after curling.Bookmark here

The sunlight is back, the song of the birds wakes her up. Last night it didn’t rain to there are no puddles hence there is no water.Bookmark here

The day passes as slow as yesterday but there is now a new problem and that is that there was no food left, not even the bag was there due to the fact that the wind stole it in the night while nobody was looking.Bookmark here

“What do I do? What do I do?” Princess is worried when noon arrives.Bookmark here

Not having a place to leave and after a while of thinking, she decides to eat some of the grass near the tree.Bookmark here

“It’s not good, it’s not tasty” She is displeased but keeps eating, hunger is more powerful than taste.Bookmark here

The rest of the day she just decides to stop moving and laying on the grass.Bookmark here

“What’s the point of even trying to escape? It’s impossible” She whimpers for some minutes and even howls, but the result is the same because nobody appears.Bookmark here

Her stomach grumbles but it’s not only hunger this time, she has to go potty but this time it is not liquid.Bookmark here

“Ugh, not now. I don’t want to” Princess thinks in holding it up longer, the idea of doing it near where she sleeps is disgusting “I hate that smell” When she was locked in the neighbor’s backyard she had to put up with it and since then she hates its smell.Bookmark here

Laying on the grass with her eyes closed she feels the cold night coming back.Bookmark here

“My tummy hurts but I must resist” she thinks while curling.Bookmark here

Dogs have no hands so they can’t rub a part of their bodies that feels pain in order to make it feel better, instead they use their tongues to rub their bodies (or better said, the parts that they can reach). And this is a good example to see that behavior in action, Princess reaches her belly with the muzzle and uses the tongue to lick it or that is what it looks because she is in fact rubbing it.Bookmark here

“Oh pain, pain, please go away”Bookmark here

Continuing this action and taking deep breaths now and then she is able to hold it.Bookmark here

A little sound comes from the grass not too far away, Princess moves her head in its direction but there is nothing so see. Another similar sound appears again in the grass but now on the left, she quickly gets up searching but there is still nothing. More and more of these sounds appear in every direction and then she sees them, lots and lots of drops coming from the sky.Bookmark here

“RAIN!” She happily jumps, after a long day under the sun with no water it was finally here.Bookmark here

Princess runs to the hole where she drank the previous day and uses both front paws to make it deeper.Bookmark here

“Water! Water! I’m feeling so thirsty” Bookmark here

The rain is a heavy one, the night is cold and the wind is blowing strongly but either way in that darkness while tied to a tree a dog is bursting with joy as she drinks from a puddle of muddy water.Bookmark here

After the rain ends is difficult to sleep with all the water on her body, she shakes a couple of times to get rid of the wetness and tries to get dry but is something that takes time to complete.Bookmark here

Then she realizes that her body simply can’t hold it much longer so with a little bit of shame in her steps goes to the other side of the tree and does it there.Bookmark here

It was not an easy night, she didn’t sleep too much with all the cold that her wet body felt. But it’s finally morning and the warm sunlight covers the land.Bookmark here

The grass takes its time to dry, but is finally complete including a part of Princess’ fur. Tired she decides to lay down on the grass and sleep with all the light covering her body.Bookmark here

Her dreams are only memories of the last day she was with the girl and how she patted Princess’ head, until that patting felt less comfortable and more like a puncture. Princess opens her eyes and is surrounded by vultures.Bookmark here

The shock makes her bark and this scares the vultures scattering them in the sky.Bookmark here

“What was that!? Those flying dogs are big!” Bookmark here

Princess is very scared and is still thinking about what happens when her stomach grumbles, is past noon. She decides to fill her belly with grass again but later she sees that is more effective to do it with the water that was left in the puddle.Bookmark here

Days start to pass by, each one of them is almost the same and with every morning she feels less energy.Bookmark here

Some days there is no rain and others it rains all day, she feels grateful when it rains because the hole she dug up fills with water and lets her have something to drink but when it rains at night and she gets wet and it’s really hard to sleep.Bookmark here

Princess’ stomach grumbles, there has been around ten days since she was tied to the tree, she lays on the grass with no energy while looking up to the sky.Bookmark here

“The Big flying dogs are back” She thinks when the figures of the vultures appear flying in circles in the piece of sky over her.Bookmark here

The biggest of all the vultures lands near Princess and approaches by skipping. Princess slowly blinks, she has not much energy left.Bookmark here

The other vultures land behind the big one. Princess closes her eyes, she just gave up.Bookmark here

The big vulture starts using its beak to attack Princess close to her tail. She doesn’t like it, not even one bit. And so, she uses what’s left of her energy to open her mouth and grab the vulture’s right foot at great speed.Bookmark here

“THAT HURTS” She thinks angrily Bookmark here

The vulture panics opening its wings and trying to escape flying, this movement scares the other vultures and they leave the place. Princess is still attached to the foot of the big one refusing to let it go and the upper part of her body is getting drag in the air.Bookmark here

The big vulture gets a mix of feelings between anger and fear and in order to set its foot free it targets an attack with the beak to Princess’ eye, she being unable to defend herself closes the eyes and receives the hit. It sounds a cry, drops of blood fall to the grass.Bookmark here

The vulture moves its head back and in the beak there is a small piece of unrecognizable meat filled with blood. Princess feels a warm sensation on her left cheek and decides to open her eyes.Bookmark here

She can’t see it but just 3 centimeters under her left eye there is now a wound, even with the fear of being attacked she didn’t open her mouth so the vulture is still her prisoner and it is time for a counterattack. Bookmark here

CRACKBookmark here

She closes her muzzle and bits with all the strength that is left in her body, the vulture makes a very loud sound and now Princess’ mouth is filled with a liquid that has a metallic taste.Bookmark here

Suddenly some nearby bushes rustle and a big hairy dark silhouette comes out and starts approaching.Bookmark here

“WHAT IS THAT!?” Princess thinks while opening her mouth. This action let the vulture escape leaving her alone with the new creature.  Bookmark here

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