Being tired he lay himself down underneath a tree, and watched the afternoon pass through the branches.
Towards evening a dog came trotting through the woods. It sat and watched him, its head cocked slightly, long pink tongue lolling out of its mouth foolishly.
“Hello, dog,” he said.
“Hello, man,” said the dog.
More of the afternoon slipped through the leaves of the trees, slipped through him, slipped through the dog.
“Nice day,” he observed. The dog just grinned at him. He could see its ribs through its patchy coat. “You look pretty hungry.”
“I’m starving,” said the dog. “If you die soon, I think I will eat you.”
He rummaged through his pack, and tossed some dried meat to the dog. The dog sniffed at it suspiciously and then ate greedily. When it was finished it looked at him with fear in its eyes. “Aiii,” it said. “What have you done to me?”
“Go,” he said. “I make no claims. Go free.”
The dog slipped away into the trees, brushing past him, the heat from its life beating at him. The afternoon passed through the trees and he watched the leaves fall away, listened to the coming of night .