"There once was an old man who lived deep in the woods, in a shack that was rotting away and falling over. He lived with only himself and his dog, whose name was Blue. They would walk through the woods and over the hills and along side the stream every day, and Blue would help the old man catch rabbits and fish and spot deer behind trees. The old man would use his shot gun so that they would have food for the week.
“Blue was a hound, with long, flappy ears and a tail the dragged on the ground when he walked. The old man had had him for years, for almost as long as he could remember. The dog was old and sick, and he knew that he was dying. He didn’t want the old man to see him die, so one night, while the old man was asleep, he went out, over the hills and past the stream, and to a place the old man never went, and there he waited.
“When the old man woke up, it was still the middle of the night, but he couldn’t hear old Blue snoring in his sleep on the floor beside his cot. So, he bundled up, pulled on his work boots, and went outside. He stood in front of his little shack and called out to his dog. ‘Blue!’ he called. ‘Bluuuuuuuue.’ But there was no answer.
“Blue could hear his master calling out to him. The wind carried his voice over the hills and past the stream. Blue wanted to get up and go to him, but he was dying. And as he heard one more call – ‘Bluuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuue!’ – he died.
“The old man died less than a week later of lonliness and a broken heart.
“Sometimes, if you’re really quiet, in the middle of the night, you can hear the wind calling out to Blue. ‘Bluuuue. Bluuuuuuue.”