Walking to School

There have been a handful of people I would protect with my life. Today, I will tell you the story of one of them: my best friend Tim.

See, when I was younger, I was not particularly well-off. I had to spend most of my time hunting or otherwise scavenging for food to survive. One day, after chasing down a rabbit, a small boy crossed my path. It was Tim.

I stopped for a moment and stared at him without saying a word. He instantly understood my situation and motioned for me to stay for a few moments while he rummaged in his bag, pulling out a small loaf of bread. He broke it in two and gave me half of it.

I thanked him in the best way I knew how and let him go on his way.

The next day, at around the same time and place, I met him again. This time, he was waiting for me. He again gave me half a loaf of bread and left.

Somehow, this turned into a regular ritual and I began to walk with him every morning, dropping him off at the school gates. For years, we would walk together, often playing little idle games and chatting along the way. Honestly, I cherish those moments more than anything else in my life.

One day, Tim brought a small ball to toss back and forth. He would throw it as far as he could, and I would try to catch it before returning it. Some time later, Tim looked at his watch and frantically began packing his backpack. Somehow, we had completely lost track of time and Tim was late!

Once he gathered everything, he ran across the street without looking, right in the way of an oncoming car. Without thinking, I dashed towards him and pushed him out of the way.

I don't know exactly what happened next, but I found myself in front of the school gates again. Frantically, I looked around for Tim. Where was he? Was he ok? Did I save him?

Just as I was about to call his name, the school doors opened and a tall, older man stepped out. He was wearing a white robe and carrying a small book and pen. He looked at me, opened his book, and furrowed his brows a bit.

I thought it had to be the schoolmaster, angry at Tim for being late. I rushed to him to try to explain the situation, but he motioned for me to stay and said, "It appears that there as been a complication. You are still needed."

The headmaster then snapped his fingers and I found myself on the side of the road, collapsed in Tim's arms. He was petting my fur and crying. I wagged my tail a bit and tried to tell him that I was fine and everything would be alright.

He then hugged me even tighter, saying, "Good boy. You are such a good boy."

After that, Tim introduced me to his family and we lived together ever since.

Prompt: You arrive at the pearly gates, intact and feeling good. Saint Peter asks for your name and, after a brief period of frantic shuffling, sighs. “It appears… that there’s a complication.”

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