Henry had decided that after his near encounter with the woman mobster that staying in the city was too dangerous. Besides, the human survivors of the Uprising had consumed everything that was edible. He had even seen instances where they were beginning to cannibalize each other. So he made his way to the outskirts of the city and into the country.
At least in the country there would be better places for him to hide and he hoped that there might be some food left in the fields. He did find some wild blackberry bushes and although the berries had not fully ripened and were bitter they provided him some nourishment. He experimented with trying to pull them from their branches without doing too much damage to his muzzle from their thorns.
Not far from this little stand there was a brook. Henry smelled the water and it was fresh and clean and cold. He drank deeply from it and felt the water re-hydrating all the cells of his tired body. There was a large clump of leafy bushes about one hundred feet from the brook. Henry pushed through them and found an area large enough for him to lie down and sleep. He felt safe in his hidden resting place.
When he awoke he considered what his plan of action would be. He determined to use his bush retreat as his home base and the brook as his source for water. He decided that he would make little forays in various directions to see if there were more food there – and he hoped that the remaining berries on the blackberry bushes would ripen quickly.
He went to the brook and drank just as the sun was beginning to rise and decided that morning he would head west, the direction he had taken to leave the city. He started on his hunt in the semi-darkness of the early morning.
After about thirty minutes of going at a small trot which was as fast as he could go in his weakened condition, he sat in the middle of an open grassy field and looked around him. He didn’t see any signs of food and determined to go back to his retreat. But as he was turning to return to his camp he saw a bright flash of light in the sky. The light grew in intensity as a craft of some sort descended from the sky.
Henry didn’t know what this was and it frightened him. He began to run back to his retreat as the ship landed in the field. But his curiosity caused him to stop as he saw a ramp extend from the ship. Henry tried to flatten himself against the ground to avoid detection but he realized that in this open field his camouflage was poor.
As he watched, several people left the ship. They were not like the humans he had known and loved in his short three years. These people were shaped differently, they were far taller and their heads were elongated. As best he could tell from his black and white vision, they appeared to be of a different skin color than any of the humans he had ever seen. Even at his distance of several hundred yards Henry noticed that they smelled different as well. But he didn’t sense any anger or maliciousness in these creatures.
He continued pressing himself against the earth to see what they were doing. And then two of them started to walk slowly towards him. He didn’t know whether or not he should run – but he felt a sense of warmth and love coming from them and so he stayed where he was. Suddenly he heard a voice in his head.
“We mean you no harm. We have come to help you.” Henry believed that these aliens were sincere and so he got up and slowly started towards them. As he got closer, his sense of smell gave him reason to believe that they were being honest. So he walked a little quicker.
When he was about ten feet from them he stopped. One of the aliens sat on the ground and beckoned him to come to him. Henry went over to this creature and the alien gently placed his hand under Henry’s chin and began to scratch him. His companion joined the first alien on the ground and reached into a small bag that he was carrying. Inside was food – glorious food. They fed the contents to Henry who was grateful for this unusual but filling nourishment. For the first time in a week his tail began to wag and he put his weary head in the lap of the alien who had first greeted him.
The aliens continued to speak directly to his mind. They said that their civilization had watched humankind for fifty thousand years and had seen how they had treated their planet. They hoped that humans would see that the despoliation of their world and destruction of countless other species would ultimately result in their own doom. Sadly, mankind had not learned that lesson. So they had come to salvage what they could of planet earth – and they were here to take Henry home with them. Would he come with them?
Would he? Henry got up, his tail wagging and he quickly followed the aliens back to their spacecraft. When he reached the ramp, one of the aliens picked him up and carried him on-board and into the vessel. When he was inside the ship, Henry was overjoyed. All around him were thousands of other dogs. These were the rescues that the aliens found worthy to be repatriated to a new world – their world.
Henry might have been the last dog on planet earth, but he would be among many of his kind to start a new life on the aliens’ planet surrounding the star Aldebaran.