Henry hid in fear for his life as the three young thugs made their way down the street. After a week on his own he knew better than to hide anywhere near the dumpsters or garbage cans. That would be the first place they would look to scavenge food.
His mother had named him Little Bit as he was the smallest of the eight puppies who were in his litter. But when he found a home with his human that man changed it and after three years Henry had grown rather fond of his new appellation.
He was tired of running and trying to find scraps of something edible to eat. How different from the warm bed and nicely prepared meals which he had known. He heard his human speak of “The Uprising” with a friend on the phone – before the telephones stopped working.
Henry knew something was very wrong when he saw his human starting to eat the dry dog food from the large bag that stood on the floor in the pantry. Finally the bag was empty.
Henry had given his human his complete trust. But when the dry food was gone he heard his name called not out of love – but out of hunger. And his human was holding a large knife. Henry flung his full sixty pound weight against the back screen door and made his escape into the dangerous streets.
During his days on his own he had seen only one dog, a golden Labrador. She had come up trustingly to a group of young mobsters, her tail wagging and had been clubbed and then had her throat cut as her assassins cheered. One cried out, “Here’s dinner.” From his hiding place Henry would have vomited, but there was little in his stomach for him to expel.
Henry couldn’t believe all this had happened. He knew from listening to his human discuss the events that led to “The Uprising” that what had once been a great country had brought it on itself.
The “Great Leader” had come to power on promises to make everyone’s life a better one. That appealed to many who were thoughtless and desperate and uneducated. But even Henry realized that you couldn’t make dog biscuits out of thin air. That did not deter the masses from buying into these false promises. They saw them as their only chance at salvation.
At first the “Great Leader” preached only against those who had become extremely wealthy through their efforts and labor. These were easy targets to despise for people who had little of anything and even less hope. But the mob had a mind of its own.
After they had plundered the wealthy, they found there was not enough to satisfy their envy and their lust. And there wasn’t sufficient food to fill their bellies. So they turned their attention to anyone who had more than they.
There were shops filled with food, owned by hard-working people who had devoted their lives to their businesses. The mob broke in to them, killing all who stood in their way. They cared nothing for the owners or their families. They cared only for themselves – and were justified by the “Great Leader’s” words.
It was the French Revolution all over again – but in a different time and place. And this time instead of a guillotine there were assault rifles and automatic weapons.
Eventually all the stores were emptied. And the mindless mob turned on each other – as there was no one else left to supply them with what they coveted.
Henry thought on this as he began his own search for even a scrap of food. He went down an alley and found a bone with the smallest bit of meat still attached to it. The bone was covered with flies – but he began to gnaw on it anyway. And then he saw her.
One of the mob. She was filthy and had that look of hunger on her face that Henry had come to know all too well. And in her right hand she held a baseball bat. She leered at him with desire born out of pure cold-heartedness.
Henry took up the bone in his mouth and began to run so that he might live yet another day.
He was determined to stay alive. For all he knew, he might be the last dog.