Copyright – Jean L Hays

Belle didn’t know why Joe abandoned her. She’d been loyal – never whined, welcomed him home after work.

He’d knocked her about, but always made up afterwards with a soft word.

She’d survived through four seasons now, since he left her beside the highway, learning to watch for opportunities, to scavenge and steal, and, hardest of all, not to trust too readily. Winter had been toughest, but unexpected kindnesses from travellers had sustained her.

Now, curled in warm grass, she sighed, grateful for this hideaway behind a motel, and for the soft, fragrant bodies of her three new pups, nuzzling contentedly.


We’re on the road again with Rochelle. This week’s picture prompt, the first for the new year, continues our journey through varying landscapes, and along the intriguing highways and byways of Friday Fictioneers.

43 thoughts on “Belle

  1. Dear Marg,

    I couldn’t help thinking that your MC should meet Janet’s handsomely built pooch. Perhaps she would take them all in.

    Animal POV stories aren’t my favorite and it takes a really good one to win me over. You’ve won me over, my dear. Very nicely done.




    • I actually had a similar thought about these two characters – a perfect match, I think. Do you know that I’d never written an animal POV story until I started doing Friday Fictioneers, and now I’ve done two! (First was cockroaches.) I’m not sure what’s going on, but I’m very glad to have won you over. Thank you so much for your encouragement – as always.


    • It’s Spring right now where Belle is, so everything’s ok for the time being. Incidentally, I’m finding it very weird to read about all you poor people battling the cold, when I’m sweltering in an Australian summer, and monitoring the bushfire reports on the radio. What a world! What a wonderful thing the internet is.


  2. Dear Margaret,

    They say that dogs live their entire lives in a state of happiness. Your tale tells a different story and shines a bright light on the plight of abandoned creatures. Humankind is often not. Good job.




    • My daughter and grandson spend most Saturday afternoons walking and playing with dogs at a local dog rescue centre. There are hundreds of dogs, and they are just the ones gathered up from the various ‘death row’ sections of local council dog pounds. Heart-breaking. I do know that it doesn’t take too much to make a dog deliriously happy, so I understand your comment. Thanks for reading and responding.


  3. Well, I hope Tom Bodett is there so he can “leave the light on” for her. The dog we have now, Buster, was dumped with his mother on a cold, wet dirt road. We put them in a pen with the intention to call animal services. The next morning his mother had escaped and never returned. Animal services said they could not care for a puppy that small (his eyes weren’t open) and they would have to put him to sleep. Connie would not allow that, so she bottle-fed him every two hours and he slept in a laundry basket next to our bed. Now, it’s eleven years later and Buster is starting to get arthritis. He’s been a blessing to us, and expect he would say the same about his adopted mother.


    • It would be wonderful for someone to leave a light on for poor Belle. Thank you for commenting, and for sharing your story about Buster. He’s a fortunate boy, and I’m glad the blessings have flown two ways – they tend to do that. I really hope his arthritis doesn’t get too bad, and you have him around a while longer.


  4. I finally found you. You forgot to leave your link in my comments. If not for the link you left on Bjorn’s post I wouldn’t know where to look.

    I guessed it was a dog about the middle. It feels great to get to the end and see I guessed right.


    • Sorry you had trouble finding me. I don’t know what happened with my link- I did everything the same as always. I’ll have to monitor it and make sure it doesn’t happen again. Thank you for taking the trouble to search me out. I hope you enjoyed my story – good guesswork.


    • I’m so happy you liked it, Bjorn. I suspect Janet’s dog has a more assured future than my Belle, but she’s survived so far beside the highway, so that’s a good sign. Thanks for your lovely comment.


  5. Your story has reminded me that I have much to be grateful for. We were poor when we first came to Canada but we’ve never been cold nor hungry. Now we are secure in life thru hard work. I have forgotten about the poor and suffering and kindness. Thank you for the reminder.



    • It’s good to be reminded of things we should be grateful for. We all need such reminders from time to time. I know that migrating to another country is a very difficult process – I work with migrants, and I’ve heard their stories. It’s so good that your family has found success and a good life in Canada. Thank you for sharing your story, and thank you for reading mine.


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