I sat up and listened. No, it was not just an impression. It was that bark. Barefoot as I was, I grabbed a flashlight and the c’ub we used to keep behind the door and I ran out of the house. I directed the flash to the place from where the bark was heard. Baruc came by my side then ran towards the far end of the garden, as far as the chain allowed him. A hedgehog was sauntering idly through the frozen weeds. I pushed him on a shovel and took him inside the house that Alma could see him as well. We turned the hedgehog on all sides and then I carried him back in the bushes. I had fallen fast asleep when Alma shook me by the shoulder.
-What is it? I asked her.
- Itls Baruc again. Hels barking desperately.
- Oh, God, I mumbled and wrapped myself up. But the bark never ceased. I got up again, took the c’ub and the flashlight and went out. The dog was busy with the tool-shed, under which was a cellar full of carrots and cabbages. I had a look round the orchard, the fences and the neighboring yards and returned home.
Alma was standing at the window, scanning the darkness.
- Itls the hares, she said with a sigh, I saw them hopping about the trees.
I went back to s’eep and as the bed seemed to carry us down into the realm of s’umber, I heard the dog bark again. We were getting lower and lower, the sounds were fading away in the distance and soon we were sailing on silent waters, surrounded by huge cotton walls. Behind them a battle was being fought that couldnlt reach us. When we awoke, the sun of an icy winter morning was stealing through the window panes and the c’ock stroke seven. At that hour the hens were waiting for their grains, peeping through the loops of the wire fence covered with dry stems. But there was no hen, only the cock was crowing in despair and flapping its wings, on top of the stable. I got out of the hen enclosure and I called Baruc, shouting as loud as I could, I rushed into the yard running to and fro like a madman. I entered the tool-shed. I was taken aback. We used to keep a cart there which had been left there by the former owner. There was no cart. I went round the house and I ran into Alma who was running from the other side, searching. We rushed into the stable. The donkey was nowhere to be found. Neither Baruc was.