God made the angels to show Him splendor, as He made animals for innocence and plants for their simplicity. But Man He made to serve Him wittily, in the tangle of his mind.
A Man for All Seasons
In the beginning when all the Animals were created, they lived together in the Garden: The Wolf, the Fox, the Bear, the Hare, the Mouse, the Cat and the Dog, as well as all the fowls in the air and all the fishes in the sea. The Wolf was the bravest, the Fox was the smartest, the Bear was the strongest, the Hare was the quickest, the Cat was the proudest and the Dog was the gentlest.
On the sixth day the animals heard the news that a new creature had been created: Man. They heard that Man was braver than the Wolf, smarter than the Fox, stronger than the Bear, quicker than the Hare, prouder than the Cat and gentler than the Dog. And they heard that this new creature Man was to be given dominion over all the earth and to rule over all the animals.
The animals didn't know how to take this news, so they kept their distance from Man. But the Cat and the Dog were more curious than the other animals and they wanted to see Man, so they went looking for him. They searched around all the land to find Man, and they saw that he had touched the land and changed it. But they couldn't find him. They went to the sea and around all the shores to find Man, and they saw that he had sailed the sea and fished the fishes. But they couldn't find him. They went to the forests and the flowering fields and they found that Man had been there and eaten of the fruits of the trees and smelled the flowers of the land. But they couldn't find him. They went to the highest mountain they could find and looked up at the Stars and the Moon and they discovered that Man had been there and named all the stars, and the days, and the seasons – but he wasn't there.
So the Cat and the Dog went back to tell the other animals about the things they had seen and heard of Man – and there they discovered him, sleeping in the Garden. The Cat and the Dog looked at him in awe and wonder.
"I can't believe he is as brave as the Wolf, as smart as the Fox, as strong as the Bear, or as quick as the Hare! Look at him! He's like a monkey with no hair!" the Cat sneered, circling quietly around the sleeping Man. But the Dog was quiet. Man reminded the Dog of something he had seen before, but he couldn't quite remember what or where. When Man stirred from his sleep the Cat ran away, but turned back to look. Man saw the Dog, bared his teeth and stretched forth his hand, and the Cat knew that the Dog had surely met his fate.
The Dog sat quietly as the Man laid his hand upon him and petted his fur, and the Dog felt something inside him change. He looked at Man, looked him right in the eye, and stood up. He got close and licked Man square in the face. Man laughed, and the Dog wagged his tail in delight; his laughter was the most wonderful sound he had ever heard. From that moment on the Dog was never far from Man.
Then the animals heard the news: Man had transgressed and was driven out of the Garden. They heard that the Snake, which was the subtilest, had beguiled Woman and she and Man had eaten the fruit and become wise. As a result of this, the animals were all introduced to a new creature: Death. He was the blackest. Even the Wolf feared him. From there and then on, Death was to be found everywhere.
The animals stood and watched as Man and Woman left the Garden and went into the dark and dreary world, dressed in coats of skins. And they saw Death hover about Man. Some of the animals were angry with Man, some thought that his dominion was over, and some pitied him. But the Dog got up and ran after Man into the dark and dreary world. He caught up, licked Man's hand and wagged his tail. Man smiled, petted the Dog's head and the three of them walked on.
* * *
Since then all the creatures of the forest have been afraid of Man and are even to this day, for Death still hovers about the children of Man. But the Dog has continued to be Man's best friend above all other animals, for he loved Man from the first time Man petted him.