538 THE ADVOCATE
VOL. 78 PART 4 JULY 2020
tively by dogs. The weather remained cold all day, and the sky was clear
with a full moon. The area of woods where the log sat was birch. In the
moonlight with scattered snow on the bare branches, the trees were pure
silver. It was a spectacular sight. There was no ground light to interfere, and
the stars were in random array in every direction, right to the tree line. It
was the kind of night when he and Jane would clean out the fire pit and
build a decent-sized fire, big enough for warmth but small enough to yield
to the spectacular light of the moon and stars. Priscilla would position herself
beside Jane, and the two of them would practise their gift of remaining
immobile and quiet. It was one of his most enduring memories.
On this night, he and Priscilla moved with near quiet down the trail. The
only sound was his feet breaking the crust and the occasional click of
Priscilla’s nails. On the occasions when she broke through the crust, he
paused to lift her out. The trip was helped by the fact that they were going
where they both wanted to go. With him breaking trail for her and helping
her out, she was able to make the walk. When he got to the log, he sat on it
for a minute, and Priscilla came and laid her head on his knees. He took her
head in his hands and looked steadily into her eyes for a minute. Then he
softly kissed her muzzle and began flattening the snow behind the log to
make room for the two of them.
He spread the blanket, leaving room for him to lie between it and the log.
He wiggled around until he was lying in a loose fetal position with the edge
of the blanket in front of him. Then he called Priscilla. She moved to lay on
the blanket ahead of him. He pulled the rest of the blanket back over her
and moved her back until he could feel her comfortable and warm against
his body. He adjusted his parka hood over his head, pulled on his heavy
gloves and then put his arm over the blanket and across Priscilla’s chest.
Soon he found himself falling asleep and could feel Priscilla breathing regularly
as she did the same. Her muzzle was the only part of her protruding
from under the blanket. As he slipped into unconsciousness, he was comforted
to know that he and Priscilla were on their way to meet Jane. That is
the way the neighbours found them the following morning, covered with a
light blanket of snow and resting peacefully.