July 10, 2017
Jesus knocks on the opening of Zorro's secret hideout cave. He is holding the leash of an ADORABLE male Schipperke.
Bernardo, Zorro's friend and helper, motions Jeus in. He is mute, so he cannot speak his mind. "This has to be good," he thinks.
"It is," Jesus says. "I'd like to sell Zorro my dog. He is a good boy. His breed makes a keen watchdog-- your cave here is open."
Bernardo motions to Jesus to "wait here" and, in a few moments, is back with Zorro. Don Diego de la Vega is a Catholic man, so his alter ego Zorro, besides being amazed at his visitor, is very polite throughout. (Don Diego is almost always polite, even during serious swordplay.)
He observes all the etiquette befitting Jesus' visit before saying, "You want to sell me Your dog?"
"Yes. You see, people get very grateful when I help them-- you know how it is. Now I have been given this wonderful dog, and that is a problem." He decides not to mention how His dog trips people up when they are all crowding around Him. Not relevant-- Zorro is a loner.
"If he is a Schipperke, they just branched off the Spitz and Belgian sheepdog line in about 1880. But they were shown at a dog competition in 1690." Don Diego is very proud of his European education. "But while I am sure he is a fine dog, he will be the only Schipperke in Los Angeles--"
"You would not be able to house him at the hacienda," Jesus agrees. "But how he will benefit you in other ways! He is very black, and will go well with your costume and your beautiful black horse Toronado. He is extremely fast, and can keep up with a running horse."
"I am just warming up! This breed is suspicious of strangers, and would guard your cave."
" Jesus, this breed barks a lot. It sheds a lot. It could give away the location of the hideout. It's not easy cleaning up after a horse in here-- you can imagine that we do have to haul the dirty straw a good way distant as it is."
"They are also intent dogs, and very curious. Should someone with evil intent come near, this dog would unmask him... before this person unmasks you."
Diego says, "But they run between 11 and 18 pounds. Not scary enough to repel an interloper."
Jesus ruffles the dog's head. "In the dark ...the sight of the pure-white of the eyes and the teeth, and the ferocious bark--"
Diego begins to that feel he is going to own a dog. "And his temperament--"
"Diego, this breed has great curiosity, and a mischievous sense of humor. A perfect complement to your own."
"My Lord, my friend--why come to me?"
Jesus hears that a lot. Makes Him sigh inwardly every time. "You may have heard that my group's treasurer helps himself to our funds. We are very close to the bone right now. You have not only the family money, but... Diego..."
Jesus stoops and starts to write in the dirt.
"Okay, okay-- that's not necessary-- I do have several packets of cash and jewels at the moment. I suppose he is a champion purebred, too?"
"You know I don't care about things like that." ( Diego does, of course, but Jesus is closing the deal.) "He is, and I will send you the papers, but his lineage will not affect the price.
I know you will treat him as kindly as you treat Bernardo and Toronado. You must give him a memorable name. Dignified, and somewhat intimidating. But not 'Diablo' of course."
"Of course." Despite himself, Diego is picturing the possibilities. Fencing with the men of the Alcalde's garrison while his dog rips at the trouser cuffs of their uniforms. This breed IS incredibly agile--
"Well, I know You want what's best for me, so I just have a couple more questions."
Jesus decides not to go into how awkward it was when St. Peter decided to try to walk on water, and the boat-bred dog had already walked out onto the water with Jesus. Stared curiously at the big fisherman floundering around.
"Price? Just pay what you think he will be worth."
Diego places two pouches loaded with jewels and coins into Jesus' hands. What price can you put on a best friend who will share his short life with you, love you no matter what, take all the risks with you, give all he has, take what you can afford to give, and die with eyes full of love for you?
These baubles were for the poor, but Zorro can get more, and the poor you will always have with you.
Diego decides not to mention the amazing anomaly of Time they are sharing. Or that he expects his real identity will be discovered. He has been very lucky.
Will they kill him or will he prevail? He is afraid to ask.
He will, he decides, make very good provision for the care of this dog and Toronado. Should something happen.
In HIS time, if he is unmasked, his property would be distributed among his enemies.
"Last question then. Will he stay here if I gate off the cave opening?" This dog CANNOT be seen at the hacienda.
"He will--I promise you that, and that when his time comes, you will be with him, comforting him and cradling him. You do not need to worry about his dying without your being here."
This eases the heart of Diego. He nods gratefully. He takes the leash. The dog recognizes another very kindhearted person, and trustingly moves to Diego's side.
Jesus bows and takes His leave.
He wipes away tears. How He will miss His best friend!
He had decided not to mention that the Schipperke followed Him everywhere...and that at the end of this week, in HIS time, He was going to be walking to Calvary.