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Unidentifiable, Part 1
The moon was perfectly round one chilly September night; perfectly round, but not at its brightest. It seemed to be trying to hide its face from the lonely creature that stalked through the darkness. All was quiet throughout the sleeping neighborhood, except for a calm breeze playfully tugging at anything it could touch. It tried to twist itself into the creature's fur, wanting to play, but the fur was so tangled and dirty that it was unable. The creature ducked its head to shield its face from the cool breeze; it was not in the mood for that carelessness tonight.
It was too skinny to very well guess what it might be, and it needed to feed before daybreak. Silently, it pressed on.
None too soon, it found a house whose rejections had already been placed near the curb, prepared for the noisy old truck that arrived weekly. Whether it was excitement or pure hunger that caused the near flight across the empty street, even the creature would never know. It tore carelessly at the large bags, too hungry to care about neatness. The contents were satisfying and, for one who had not eaten in a week, magnificent. The creature consumed the rejections greedily, its stomach filling. It only stopped long enough to growl a disturbing warning to the raccoon who had managed to creep up, hoping for some of the bag's contents as well. The small animal froze in alarm, although somewhat unsure what to think of the creature that now had its head hovered over the goods. It didn't take much more to scare off the raccoon; just a small, single step forward. Pleased with the growing distance between itself and the raccoon, the creature began to eat again.
It never took much for the creature to scare anything. But the humans in this area were becoming bolder, and if the creature threatened even one, more would come looking for it. It now avoided coming out of hiding during the day at all, because of the human's growing tendency to provoke a threat.
To the creature's shock and disappointment, a light appeared on an upper portion of the house, and something by it moved. The creature could hear angry shouts -- it had been spotted. Part of the house opened, and its alpha human stepped out.
"What is it?" cried a voice from behind the alpha.
"I don't know," he replied, "I've never seen anything so ugly."
The creature just watched the human, waiting for him to make the first move. The human shouted at the creature several times but to no avail. Finally, he stepped out of the house to pick up a rock from the path's siding and threw it. The creature grabbed the large piece of hardened bread it had been gnawing before turning and prancing away just as the rock landed two feet short of where it had been standing.
"That'll show you!" the human boasted. "Darn coyote, or whatever it is." The creature could hear the alpha muttering to himself even as he closed the house.
Later, in a battered old crate in an alley behind a hair salon, the creature continued to gnaw on its prize, but soon lost interest in it. It pushed it aside with a mud covered paw and set down its head to rest. The light on the house did not leave the creature's mind. It had looked so warm . . . so inviting; but to the unidentifiable creature, it was forbidden.
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Faith is like learning to walk; you have to fall at first, but don't stay down. When in doubt, don't stop believing.
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Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.