In the early mornig the puppies lay curled up together between their mother’s paws under the ladder of the house. Four puupies were all white like the mother. They had pink noses and pink eyelids and pink mouths. The skin between their toes and on the inside of their large, limp ears was pink. They had short sleek hair, for the mother licked them often. The fifth puppy lay across the mother’s neck. On the puppy’s back was a big black spot like a saddle. The tips of its ears were black and so was a pitch of hair on its chest.
The opening of the sawali door, its uneven bottom dragging noisily against the bamboo flooring, aroused the mother dog and she got up and stretched and shook herself, scattering dust and loose white hair. A rank doggy smell rose in the cool morning air. She took a quick leap forward, clearing the puppies which had begun to whine about her, wanting to suckle. She trotted away and disappeared beyond the house of a neighbor.
The puppies sat back on their rumps, whining. After a little while they lay down and went back to sleep, the black-spotted puppy on top.
Baldo stood at the treshold and rubbed his sleep-heavy eyes with his fists. He must have been about ten yeras old, small for his age, but compactly built, and he stood straight on his bony legs. He wore one of his