By Lily Tierney
His name was Roamer because everyone saw him roaming through the neighbourhood. He looked like a mixed breed dog, but mostly German Shepard. He would be constantly sniffing things and picking them up in his mouth. He would dig a hole then bury everything he found.
A little boy named Casey lived across from the vacant lot that Roamer was always playing in. Casey just started third grade in a new school. His parents had just moved to the neighbourhood. Sometimes, Casey would play with Roamer throwing him a ball to fetch. Roamer loved playing with Casey. Roamer always had a strange gleam in his eyes when he played with Casey. There were times when Casey thought Roamer could actually understand what he was saying. There was the time when Casey lost his action figure from Star Wars. Casey looked around the lot and was mumbling to himself about trying to find it. Suddenly, Roamer came running over with it in his mouth to give to Casey. Casey was amazed that Roamer actually knew what he was looking for.
One-night Casey could not sleep and looked out his window to see Roamer in the vacant lot. Something was very strange. Roamer’s eyes were shining brightly and, he was in mid-air. His ears were also straight up in the air with antenna’s coming out of them. Casey actually heard Roamer talking in a foreign language to someone on a radio.
The next day Casey tried to ask Roamer questions about it. Roamer behaved like a typical Earth dog and ran around barking. Casey knew there was something more to this than meets the eye. Then Roamer looked at Casey and started to write something in English in the dirt. Casey could not believe what he was seeing. Roamer wrote that he was an alien from another planet. Roamer quickly removed the writing with his paw and ran away from Casey.
Roamer was torn between showing Casey who he truly was, or just letting him believe he was a dog. He took on the form of a dog because he thought he could examine Earth life unnoticed. Roamer really liked Casey and wanted to tell him the truth and reveal his true identity to him.
The next day, Roamer waited all day for Casey, but he never came to the lot. Roamer started to worry about Casey. Could Casey have been frightened by what he had written in the dirt the day before? Just when he was about to give up he heard a bunch of boys heading to the lot. They were running and Casey was ahead of them.
“You better leave me alone,” yelled Casey.
“Oh, you’re just a wimp,” yelled one of the boys at Casey.
All the boys were bigger than Casey and decided to pick on him for no reason.
Roamer turned back around and ran toward Casey. Roamer was going to protect his friend Casey from these bullies. Roamer’s eyes shown brightly at the boys and they froze in their tracks. They literally could not move. Casey stopped running and realized Roamer had stopped them from hurting him.
The boys stayed that way for about a minute, then came to. They couldn’t remember a thing. They looked around and couldn’t understand how they got to the lot and didn’t recognize Casey. Of course, Roamer made sure they didn’t remember seeing him. The boys decided to leave and had a bit of a headache.
Casey walked over to Roamer and knew of his powers.
“Thank you, Roamer, for saving me from them,” he said, looking sincerely at Roamer.
“You’re welcome, Casey,” Roamer said.
Roamer decided then and there to show Casey what he truly was. He thought Casey would understand.
“Casey, do not be afraid,” Roamer said, as he proceeded to reveal his identity to him.
The dog disappeared and in its place was a small hairy being with what appeared to have several eyes. They weren’t exactly like human eyes, but they resembled them in a way. They were all different colours, and some of the colours Casey didn’t recognize. They would have been new colours for the crayon box. The alien had several what looked like dog paws. Maybe, being a dog was something the alien could relate to physically. The alien could move swiftly in all directions, and turn its head like an owl. Casey wasn’t afraid, but amazed.
Then, Roamer reappeared licking Casey’s face. Casey laughed and trusted Roamer to be his lifelong friend. Roamer explained to Casey that he would be returning to his galaxy, but not without leaving something behind for Casey.
“Casey, never let anyone put you down. Bullies are people who are insecure themselves, and that is why they want to hurt others. You are strong and very brave. In the future, you will be doing such amazing things.” Roamer said, looking at Casey with admiration in his eyes.
Roamer then disappeared leaving behind a small box for Casey. It was a dog collar that read Roamer from Galaxy 2020. Casey put the collar in his jacket pocket and walked back toward his house. He felt special because Roamer made him believe in himself.
Alone, at night, Casey would look up at the stars and wonder if Roamer was looking at the same stars. He never told anyone about Roamer’s secret because he knew no one would believe him. He believed. Who knows, maybe Roamer would come back as a cat or bird. He would be looking for him and hoped they would both recognize each other.