Pepe was practicing his waltz moves when he caught his feet in the Persian rug. His dog Plato, a shaggy and indeterminate beast, lay impassive in front of the fireplace.
« My dear friends, » began the politician… «
« The politician… « the dog grumbled.
« In this majestic hour, bruised by the first white glow at my temples… »
Plato stifled a groan. Now he will announce that he is running for the Senate, he thought.
« …To the Senate, to proudly carry the standard of our beloved homeland! «
« What homeland is he talking about, the dog wondered. I come from abroad. I have eaten there a grass as fragile as that which grows in your gardens. I have spoken to their dogs, they are mongrels, like those in your streets, neither more wolves nor more dogs. I was beaten by their men, they have no more mercy than here… «
The disenchanted city lay in the still dust. It had been a long time since the dog was one of those old pieces of furniture that no longer attracted the eye. Maria, Pepe’s wife, whose heart was as good as her husband’s pride was great, brought him a piece of bun. « Are we dogs, » Pepe asked his wife. No, we, the sky rose early in the morning, the sky … yellow … yellow as the sun » . « Bravo, bravo » laughed the dog. If only Maria could see with my eyes how I see her world… So many lies! »
Pepe had promised everything to Maria in the early days of their marriage; he showered her with jewels. But little by little, he had drifted away from her like the wave drifts away on the horizon to seek a fading sun.
« A necklace? « Plato asked himself when he saw Pepe arrive the next day with a set of diamonds. Is it for me? « For the most beautiful woman, » exclaimed the politician. « So young… so beautiful, » he exulted.
Maria was teaching the village children how to juggle letters to make words. Plato knelt down:
« What’s the news of the day, Lady Maria? Tell me, why are you crying? How can your beauty shine if you are so intent on squeezing every liquid out of your body?
« As a husband, he is rather cold. But I know he loves me, » she thought.
« Lady Maria, you are the centerpiece of this city, the brightest tooth I have…. » continued the dog. Maria became aware of Plato’s presence.
« You deserve to have a voice, » she told him.
« Oh, how I wish I were a man, » flirted Plato. I would take you to the butcher. »
Maria pouted, « What kind of human would you be, Plato?
Plato considered for a moment the blue of Maria’s dress, the red of her lips. He admired the shiny black line that adorned her eyes like a line of action. But Pepe soon arrived.
« Maria? Again hairs of dog on your new dress? He felt the red rise to his blotchy cheeks. « I know there was someone here earlier, I heard you laughing.
« I was talking to the dog » Maria defended herself.
« To the dog? Pepe left, furious.
Plato came back to Maria with Pepe’s collar in his mouth.
« What a wonder! Maria took the object out of the animal’s mouth, smiled thinking of the surprise she would soon have to feign in front of her husband, put it in a box, then took a book and began to read madly. Plato soon twitched an ear: « Pepe didn’t come home, did he? »
When afternoon came, Pepe, following with his eyes the dog that was barking near a lacquered chest. Puzzled by his dog’s conpulsive barking, he found the collar, slammed the dog, and began to rave
« Ah my diamonds, so dear, so bright. Ah, the color of your eyes and the warmth of your belly. For you, I could give up a small part of my wealth.
Old monkey! » cried Plato, « that’s it! A mistress! « My little love powder, » added Pepe.
In the evening, Chopin was played. Maria wore a simple dress, like her smile, radiant. She wore a Venetian mask. She entered the living room where the guests were starting to waltz. The ball was given. Worried, she looked for her husband with her eyes, finding a place in the flowery tablecloth that was the assembly. Pepe was dancing passionately with a woman. Where did I see that necklace, » she thought. I saw it recently.
« Pepe! « Maria shouted and collapsed.
The music stopped and Pepe watched Maria fall, then the necklace, then the young woman’s Venetian mask that had slipped to the floor. Pepe then looked at the other woman.
Maria got up, and ran away.
The music resumed and Pepe, gave again the arm to his mistress before disappearing in the whirlwind of the dancers.
Plato contemplated the doorframe: « The master will be back soon » he thought while licking himself. His attention was all directed to Maria who entered the room with a deafening sound.
« How I have been blinded, » she cried.
« My husband loves another one, younger and more beautiful than me.
Plato tried to bark, but not a sound came out of his throat.
What was to be done?
Maria sat on the floor and cried.
« I have to do something »: Plato took off and ran up the stairs. When he reached the street, a truck almost hit him.
« Stupid bug, » the trucker shouted.
I almost died, » growled Plato, after recovering from his emotions. He stretched his neck « I should… » when his words were interrupted by the sudden vision of multicolored flowers hanging from the back of the truck. A moment later, and Plato was on the trail.
« What’s that smell, » he exclaimed, realizing he was now holding a bunch of tulips in his teeth.
Pepe was back. Plato gave him a curious look. His master was crying. Maria had laid down on the bed, pretending to be asleep. « Can I believe it? Won’t he upset her again? » he thought.
Pepe took the flowers that Plato had placed in front of him, and placed them on the bedside table next to Maria, who thought her husband wanted reconciliation and smiled.
Plato was almost out of the room: « She loves him, it is by him and only by him, that she can be happy, not by me. «
He looked through the window: « I am only a dog… »
He bowed his head:
« I will always be a comfort dog, making them smile on rainy days and driving them crazy on boring days. I’ll always be there, I’m not going anywhere. «
A sound reached his long ears that made him forget everything else, the sound of a stray cat.