A Wildlife Classic by Ivan Turgenev
Trans. Gordon Grice
Just the two of us in the room--my dog and me. Outside, the storm growls and bays.
The dog sits and looks me straight in the face. I return her gaze.
She wants, it seems, to tell me something. She’s speechless, knows no symbols nor hardly even herself -- but I understand her. I know that in this lightning-lit moment there lives in her and in me the same feeling, that there is no difference between us. We are the same; in each the same spark burns, trembles, glows.
In time Death will descend on winter wings broad enough to dominate the night—the end of her, of me. Who will be able to tell the cooling coal of her soul from the coal of mine?
It’s not a case of man or beast behind these eyes. We’re equals now, her gaze holding mine. In hers, in mine, the life huddles close. We’re unified in fear.