As I recollect, the month was March. Gabe, my Rottweiler, and I took our usual morning walk through the spring forest, where mosses succulent as pomegranate seeds lined our path. While Gabe Roto-rooted the underbrush searching for whatever dogs dig for, I walked lazily along, watching shadows break into the sunlight, then back into shadow. Suddenly Gabe began to dig feverishly.
Probably a mouse, I thought, as I plopped myself on the moss carpet covering the forest floor. I figured whatever he was after would perhaps escape through its back door, when my big Rottweiler dog, tail wagging in exuberance, did find something.
What he found was not a mouse, a mole, a woodchuck, or any such animal. It was a book, a small book, shiny black, with a gold ribbon bookmark, sparked by sunlight, dangling from its closed pages.
Strange, there in a forest, not often frequented by anyone except my dog and myself, lay a book as pristine as a new pair of patent leather shoes. The book was only about three by four inches in size. The pages were creamy white, and covered with a beautiful cursive written in bronze ink. It was the size someone could slip into their shirt pocket, and it was in perfect condition, not a tear, not a smudge, perfect. With its few notations, it was more like a syllabus, notes a teacher would take to remind her of her subject of the day. The script that flowed across the pages was perfect, just what old handwriting expert Mr. Palmer would order.
The book began thus:
“Why am I here?”
I snorted. Of course, something all humans want to know. Someone’s journal.