The dog

“Poor dog” was all that Noora could think while staring at the famous painting.*  It was a painting of bleak dark brown colors and harsh nothingness. The dark sky was occupying most of the canvas and at the bottom a sand hill was prominent. The darkest part of the scene was the dog’s head. The dog was drowning in the sand and was almost completely lost to its depths.

Most likely her boyfriend would have said that the sand hill is the emotions that trapped your soul and the dog is the man who is crushed under the weight of dreams, hopes and passions tat will never be fulfilled. Noora’s major in studies was magical creatures and the only thought that occupied her mind while staring at the painting was poor dog.

Her musings were interrupted by the arrival of one classmate that unfortunately had travelled together to Madrid. Veera was a very mean person but exceptionally good at spells, something that generally made her character even more insufferable. “What are you thinking?” she asked her in a voice of concern and interest in her feelings.

The fact that Veera showed compassion to her should have raised an alarm inside her head. But she was still captivated by the suffering of the illustrated dog to think of anything else. “Poor dog” she whispered sadly”.

“You can help him!” cried with excitement Veera and clapped her hands. Before the other girl had any chance of even thinking to ask her for clarifications, she whispered under her breath “Kotilla on perjantain!”**.

Noora’s vision changed. Or to be more precise her surroundings changed. All the colors melted out of the Museum’s objects and paintings and become a whirl of vividly colored waters. Then they were replaced by darker shades, of brown and black and they started forming objects around her.

And as suddenly as all had started, it ended. She was dizzy and when she opened her eyes, she needed a couple of minutes to adjust to the new surroundings. The sky was brown with clear markings of a painting brush crossing through it and the hill sand was a nice mixture of grains and dried paint. Even her body looked like a coal sketch.

Suddenly she heard a dog whimper in the distance. Noora started her difficult walk towards the source of the sound and after a period of time that felt like eternity, she reached the dog. It was trapped till its neck, struggling to not be devoured by the sand.

Without thinking of her own weird situation or the implications of her actions, the young girl grabbed the dog by its jaw and pulled with all her strength. It was not an easy task, she almost submerged herself in the sand three times. But after a long struggle she freed the poor dog.

The dog was a bit older that a puppy, not fully grown yet. It jumped up and down, waving its long black tail with happiness. As it tried to lick her face and hug her in its doggy fashion by putting its paws on her shoulders, it almost caused them to get trapped in the moving sand once again.

“Stay still! Sit!” Noora commanded and let some of her magic power fill her voice, something that was enough to successfully calm the dog. “What are we going to do?” she thought out loud while scratching the dog behind the ears.

Noora was good in handling magical and not creatures but she was hopeless in spells. She tried to think of her courses at the Academy and a way to reverse Veera’s magic, but her mind was a blank canvas.

They sat next to each other, dog and girl, gazing into the unchanging horizon. They were trapped in the painting forever, there was no way to alter its reality from within the story it told. They were destined to sit there and stare at Goya’s brown sky till the end of the days.

The pulling out of the painting was as unexpected as the trapping in it. The feelings and the changes in the surroundings were the same as before, something that meant that Veera decided to free her from the trap. The canvas’s colors washed away and its reality was replaced by Museo del Prado.

Noora was standing in between her angry boyfriend and amused Veera. The little bitch was so content with herself, she was exuberant with happiness. “Oh, my dear Noora! You are in so much trouble…”

“Me?” cried Noora so loud and angrily that a lot of tourists turned their heads to spot the imminent fight. “I was not the one who trapped my classmates into a painting!”

“No!”, replied with infuriating calm Veera “but it was you who destroyed a masterpiece”. With that she pointed behind Noora’s back to Goya’s painting. Noora turned around and horrified she noticed that the dog’s head was not in the painting anymore.

For the first time since her return to the museum Noora noticed the black dog wiggling its tail next to her and barking happily.


* The painting is Goya’s dogs or in spanish El Perro. It can be found in Museo del Prado in Madrid.

**Sorry if you are Finnish speaking, I know that the sentence does not make any sense. 😀



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