I have no name. I am a dog nor tall nor short, with long gray hair and drooping ears. By becoming older, I begin to also have white hair.
I was the dog of a peasant family in Berry, the Bouard. Every morning, I led the cows. I made them cross the road when there were no cars. Then, I kept them so they do not leave. When it was hot, I was very thirsty. But I had to wait until evening to finally drink. When I returned, my teachers gave me some waste meat or vegetables and a little water. Finally, they did not hit me, that's something! There are other dogs that work well and are beaten. These are things that happen.
At night I often did not sleep in my niche. It was very cold. There were plenty of holes that let in rain and wind. I was going to sleep with the cows. I did not sleep much because I kept the house against thieves and foxes.
One night in spring, I hear a loud noise coming from the henhouse. I run. And I see a fox attacking the chickens. It was a fox who had found nothing in the forest to feed its young. I had to defend the chickens, then I attack the fox. We fought a long time. Finally, he left. I stayed wounded near the henhouse. Throughout the rest of the night, I was very wrong.
The next day, my teachers found me. I hoped they would treat me and thank me for my courage. Well, no! They said simply, "This dog is good for nothing."
My teacher picked me up like a sack of potatoes and threw me in his van. After shopping, returning, he stopped in the forest. He said, "Go! Down! "
I managed to get himself and went away leaving me there.
I could hide under a tree. I had to die. I thought that dogs give themselves too hard to serve the men who are not worth the trouble. I fell asleep. The next morning I was surprised to wake up alive.
Suddenly I hear the sound of voices, far away, but advance. These are two lovers who come to me. I have not seen. They sit three feet away from me and start talking. They look very nice and I'm not afraid of them. I moved a little. They turn and see me. They see that I am wounded. They understand right away that I am thirsty and I can hardly move. They start talking to me nicely, as I have never spoken. The boy takes off his jacket, puts it down and beckons me to lie below. I go there with difficulty. Then every two vest and take the lead me gently. It's very nice. And this is the first time in my life you are doing so much attention to me.
They take me into a house and here I am before a good fire. I am entitled to a good hot soup and a lot of people come look at me.
In this house, there are several children, cats (I do not like these animals) and another dog that does not seem to love me so much! Listening to the conversation, I understand that Patrick, the boy who found me in the forest, is a sailor on leave. It is soon to return to Brest, where his boat is ready to go. Fortunately, he decided to take me with him, because after a few days, he likes me. I will, he says, the "mascot" of the boat.
After a long train journey, we are on the boat. This is the first time I see the sea is amazing. All sailors are nice to me. They decide to call me "Mascotte" at all.
Initially, the trip on the boat is not very funny. It hurts the heart and that the sailors laugh. I do not have sea legs. But I promise it will change.
They are right. After three days, finished the sick at heart! The boat in the sea, but this makes me any more. I discover a new world. I am happy.
At night I sleep in the room of Patrick, in his bed. I hear him dreaming aloud of the girl with whom he should marry.
One evening, the sea is rough and sailors are not alone. They do not even think about going to bed. I either, I'm not alone, I sense that something terrible is coming, guess it's the dogs better than men. Some sailors believe to laugh again. They say: "Be careful, Mascotte. It will be a time of dog! "
Months of an hour later, is fear. The boat dancing on the waves, as high as mountains. The sea is a terrible noise. The night is dark, and no sailor does not know what to do. Suddenly a big wave overturned the boat. Sailors fall into the sea with me. I try to swim to the sailors who call for help. I hear screaming and drowning. I get to him. He takes the body with both hands. It is heavy. Is what I'm going to drown too? I can not fight against the waves but I managed to swim. And I come with him to the lifeboat. The other sailors do get into the canoe.
They also want me up but I refuse. Other sailors are still struggling against the storm. I want to go to them, hear their call. I vote both. They, too, I take the body with both hands. But they are too heavy and we will drown us all three. They do not swim very well because they are too afraid.
Fortunately, they take courage. It's amazing. We arrive at the boat. Here they are in a safe place.
I'm leaving. Surprisingly, I feel happier than ever. I guess I'll die in this storm. But after keeping the cows all my life, now I save lives. It's a great adventure for a dog. I can no longer fight against the waves. I used my strength. I drank plenty of water. I forget where I am. I dream I'm in a cloud. Around me I hear voices. My whole body hurts. I can not move. My body is burning.
A gentle hand landed on my head. A voice speaks to me of friends. It gives me cold water to drink.
"Go! Wood, it will do you good! "Said the voice.
I open my eyes. Around me there are three children of a very pretty girl who makes me drink, a man and a woman. And two old men laugh.
"You see he is not dead! "
All these people look at me like ... a weird beast.
"That's the dog is talking about the newspaper, someone said. We will tell the police that he is alive. "
Both men and dogs are afraid of the police. But this new venture does not scare me. I've seen too much! And I understand their voices that these people do not want to harm me. Instead, they talk about me as an extraordinary person. This gives me to live.
A little later, the fisherman's house, where I is filled with sailors, photographers, journalists. I am photography. They call me "the St. Bernard seas." I have saved three sailors, I know. The others fend for themselves. But journalists write that I saved all the sailors of the ship.
And then a great joy. I see Patrick come suddenly. It takes me against him, he embraced me and said: "Mascot! Mascot! You saved my friends. You're the most wonderful dog in the world "
For one week, I only hear nice things. It is said everywhere that I'm amazing. Patrick has just informed me that the president will give me a medal for rescue. For me, this is not something pleasant. I am a dog of the campaign. I did not go to school. I am a cowboy. I know neither do good nor to the leg.
Patrick announces that he will also have permission to get married. "You will be our witness, Mascotte. With the bonus rescue that you will receive, we will buy a house called At Mascot. "
Poor Patrick! He forgets that I am a poor dog. I'm fourteen. I will perhaps not the time to know her first child. It's a shame. Life is just beginning to be beautiful for me, but it is too late.
Indeed, it's too good to continue. Patrick tells me that people claim. My old master, who had said I was good for nothing! They saw my picture in the newspaper. They understood that I was now the most famous dog in the world. I am worth the money. Then they say they loved me. Patrick is a thief and he took away in the courtyard of the house. All the neighbors repeating the same things, all recognize me.
The police is questioning Patrick:
"Where did you find this dog?
- In a forest. He was dying.
- It's a lie. It was stolen from the yard of the house Bouard! "
Patrick, a thief! How can you say that? It's been too rapid succession, for a quiet cowboy. The police put me in their van to take me to the Bouard, those people who never liked me.
The very thought of them again makes me sick!
There, while the mode is there to greet me: the mayor, the priest, journalists, school children, the teacher and so on. they sell postcards with my picture. The television cameras turned to me.
The music begins. I have the right to Marseilles. In their Sunday best, the Bouard feel almost kings of the party!
The mayor spoke:
"This child of the country, this extraordinary rescuer to whom the president will soon hand ..."
A reporter wants to interview Bouard0 he asks the first question that comes to mind:
"What was your dog when he lived with you? "
My teacher does not know what to say.
"Uh ... It had no name. It was useless, he had no one call!
- How? You had a dog for twelve years without giving it a name!
You should not take you much!
- On the contrary. He had a good life. He slept all day by the fire. "
The postman, who had never received the smallest gift in Bouard, suddenly decides to speak.
"Not true! Your dog has never had the right to put one leg at home. You die of cold when the weather was not to put a dog out. "
We begin to talk more and louder. The mayor does not know what to do. This is when I'm coming! All photographers are there. They will get their money!
The father Bouard advance to me,
"Come quickly to see Dad, Mascotte pretty. "
I walk slowly. My hairs stand up on my skin. We must see all my teeth. My eyes are launching the fire. People stop talking and move. I continue to move forward ... My master began to decline. It whitens, it turns green. He always declined.
"This dog is crazy. He must be killed, "he shouted.
Suddenly I jump on him. He runs away. So I stop, lie down quietly and look at the audience, looking very nice. I hardly touched my master. But no one now can say that Patrick is a thief.
At home I now live mascot. I do not keep cows but only one bed. Patrick has a son named "Francis Mascotte." Yes, Mascotte is his middle name. You can go to the town hall you will see that this is true, it is written!
Michael Naudin, Mascot