I am a majestic beast of fine intellect and fur, otherwise known to you humans as a dog. My fur is a reddish-brown color, it is long and shiny. My body is slim, my legs are muscular, my snout is long with a very black nose, and my pride and joy, my tail, is long and feathery and curls up at the end. I am with out a doubt the finest dog the world has ever seen. I deserve to be the king's pet, and yet I am the pet of a beggar.
Though my beggar scarcely has enough money to give me the nutrition I need, he and I have spent many a fine year together, and I love him. He and I live together in a little shack near the town's dump. Often my beggar, whom I call Jack, will let me roam free in the dump, and often I will return to our shack with a gift for him; a torn up carriage wheel, or a mattress spring. Then Jack will put his in a wooden box where he keeps all my gifts, and I know he will treasure it for as long as he may live.
However, no human's life lasts forever, and I came upon the misfortune of discovering this when my beggar grew very ill and died. Because he was a beggar grew very ill and died. Because he was a beggar no self-respecting person dared bury him, or even come within 80 feet of him, for he was unimportant to them. But as a loyal beast should, I stood by his side and did not move for food nor drink.
It was then that the king's men came, on their horses, to bury my poor beggar, for it was the law that all men be buried in the cemetery. I growled at them, of course, because he was my beggar and no other living being was allowed to come near him. The horses cowered, afraid of my ferocious bite, but the men drew nearer and the fattest of them held out a piece of meat.
Oh, how that tempted me! I had not eaten for three days, and when I had, it was never proper food. But loyalty must come before hunger, so I did not budge.
At that moment, a new horse came, this one blacker than any night. On it sat a magnificent human. He was dressed in red and purple velvet, with a long cape flowing out behind him. His boots were made out of expensive leather; gems adorned his clothing. On his midnight black hair sat a golden crown with one large ruby in the middle and smaller emeralds surrounding it. I knew at once that he must be the king, for no commoner could afford such luxuries.
The king looked at me, then at my beggar beside me. Then he said, in a voice that roared like thunder, "Men! Take the dead one and grab me the dog!"
I yelped with surprise. No one was going to take me anywhere! I backed into the corner of my shack, baring my teeth and growling. The fat man with the meat walked towards me, arms shaking, obviously nervous to approach such an angry dog.
I showed no mercy. Leaping forward, I sunk my teeth into the man's fat arm and he yelled and jumped backwards. He crashed into the crate full of straw that my beggar, Jack had once slept in, and fell to the floor, arm bleeding and twisted at an odd angle.
now all the men hid, not even willing to touch Jack. The king frowned at me, and a heavy feeling filled my heart, for I knew I had displeased my king. Then the king jumped off his horse. His cape flew out behind him and give him the appearance of flying. "Come, dog!" he said. I glared at him. The word 'dog' was an insult, a harsh word that did not fit my species. On the other hand, I very much wanted to become the king's pet. But I stayed by my beggar's side. He was dead, I knew this but was unable to accept it.
It took the king a while but he finally realized that under no circumstances would I leave my beggar's side. I looked at him, and he returned my gaze. "Men!, Take the beggar. We will put him in a glass coffin in the castle where this dog will be able to visit him whenever she likes."
The men walked forward to take my beggar and this time I let them. The king walked to me and picked me up. "You are a fine beast," he said. "I must name you. How about... Scout?" I shook my head and growled. I was a female! realizing my displeasure at the awful name, the king asked some more names. "Curtis... Klarinda... Palt?" I growled for all of them. "Okay..." murmured the King. One of the men, this one as thin as a pole walked up to the king.
"Please your Majesty, such a beautiful dog deserves the name of a goddess or something." He said.
And that is how I became known as Pallas Athene.
The ride to the castle was long and boring and I discovered my displeasure of horses. Though I admit that I did not smell like a rose myself, these creatures stunk awfully, and it stung my delicate nose. When they walked they made me jump up and fall down again and again.
Flies and ticks surrounded them, and though it did not bother the king nor his men, it bothered me. My beggar rode in the arms of two disgusted men, with his head lolling to one side and flies surrounding him.
After many hours we finally reached the castle. Oh, it was magnificent! The towers were so high up that I could not see their ending. Different colored windows made the palace shine like a rainbow. The stone of the walls was polished to perfection, and the water of the moat was clearer than I had ever seen.
The water of the moat was crystal clear, which allowed me to see the ominous crocodiles swimming in it. A tall, handsome boy dressed in a midnight black suit and with a long, sharp sword on his side bounded over to us.
"Halt." he cried. "Who goes there?"
"Peace, Peter." said the King. "It is I, his Majesty, King Marble."
The boy, Peter, fell to his knees and put his forehead on the ground. "Oh, please, your Majesty. My mistake!"
King Marble raised his eyes to the skies, then said, "Peter, put down the moat's bridge and perhaps I shall forgive you. But be warned: He who mistakes his king for a common peasant twice will be thrown to the dungeons." Peter nodded and ran off to put down the bridge.
Three minutes later, with a long, high CRREEAK, the moat bridge slowly descended. "Come now, men!' yelled the king, and we slowly rode over the moat and into the castle. Then a you girl rushed to me. She had hair the same color as my fur and was dressed in rags. I knew that I would love her. But the king did not really seem to care. "Take Pallas Athene to her room," he said.
The girl nodded, dropped to her knees and touched her forehead to the floor, then stood up, gathered me into her arms, and ran off. I didn't get to see much of the castle, since the girl was going so fast, but I did notice there were lots of display cases containing swords, crowns, rings, and strangest of all, a human skull wearing a diamond crown. Here is where the girl stopped. She pushed her hand agianst the glass of the display case, and a heavy wooden door to our right creaked open.
"This is the King's room." said the girl. "You will stay here until we have built a proper house for you." She bent down.
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