Moon Shadow waited anxiously by the bay. Wind Rider was going to arrive any time, and Moon Shadow’s mother was going to be with him.
Moon Shadow had formed a tight bond with his father Wind Rider, but he hadn’t seen his mother since leaving China for America and he was excited to live with both of his parents again.
As the sun was starting to set for the evening, a large ship entered the bay and docked. Moon Shadow watched as many passengers exited. Finally, he recognized Wind Rider!
“Father! It’s you!,” Moon Shadow shouted happily as he ran toward his father. He threw his arms around Wind Rider.
“It’s great to be back, my son,” Wind Rider said, smiling warmly.
Just then, Moon Shadow noticed a woman standing right beside them. It took a few seconds, but he recognized her as his mother.
“Mother!,” he cried, “Welcome to America, I’ve missed you so much!”
Mother smiled happily, tears forming in her eyes. “I missed you too, Moon Shadow.
I was so worried about you coming here and how things would go for you and your father, but you both have done so well. I’m very proud!” She hugged her son tightly and kissed his forehead.
Later that evening the reunited family settled in their new home. Moon Shadow and his parents were full of joy.
Beneath the joy was a small amount of sorrow as well; Grandmother had passed away just a few weeks before Wind Rider arrived.
She died peacefully in her sleep, so it brought comfort to know Grandmother didn’t suffer in any way and lived a long healthy life.
She was also aware of how well her son and grandson performed and persevered in America, which brought her much pride and happiness during her final days.
This also gave comfort to Moon Shadow and his parents.
After waking the following morning, Mother went outside to tend to the garden. She heard a faint whimpering. She followed the noise, and by the cabbages lay a small black Labrador puppy.
Mother gently picked up the puppy and rushed inside. “Wind Rider,” she shouted, “look what I found in the garden!”
Her husband hurried over, as did a curious Moon Shadow.
All three felt great pity for the black lab puppy, which apparently had been separated from its mother and siblings or possibly even abandoned. The family unanimously decided to adopt the puppy.
It wasn’t long before the newly adopted member of the family was nourished back to full health, and became quite strong and playful.
Moon Shadow taught him how to fetch a stick, and how to fetch a ball. The family grew very fond of their new black Labrador.
Unfortunately, when the canine was nearing one year old his personality underwent a drastic change. He became territorial and temperamental, growling and snapping at just about anything.
One day the dog almost bit Mother, and that was the final straw. The family decided the black lab needed to be put down.
As Wind Rider and Moon Shadow prepared, Moon Shadow said to his father “I wonder what caused him to change so suddenly.
He was so adorable and playful before, but now he’s so temperamental and unpredictable. In fact, he reminds me of Black Dog. Do you suppose it could be him, in a new life?”
Wind Rider replied “I also noticed those similarities. It might be Black Dog reborn in a new form.
But if so it seems he didn’t learn from his previous life, and in that case he will be reborn again in a lower form.”
The father and son then took a rifle, a white sheet and the black lab which had been tied on a leash.
As they were leading the dog further away from the house they came across Uncle Bright Star, Hand Clap, and White Deer whom were on their way to visit.
Wind Rider explained the situation with the black lab. Uncle, Hand Clap, and White Deer joined him and Moon Shadow on their small hike.
When they finally came to a spot in the forest which they determined was far enough, Wind Rider prepared his rifle. Moon Shadow began to untie the dog’s leash.
But before the task could be completed, everyone was startled by the noise of loud rustling close by followed by a roar.
They spun around, and to their horror a bear was approaching! The bear had a white foam-like substance around its mouth, confirming that it had rabies.
It ran toward everyone at a fast pace and swiped its paws. Moon Shadow, Wind Rider, Hand Clap, White Deer, and Uncle all ran off in different directions.
Wind Rider fired his rifle at the rabid bear, but the bullet merely grazed the animal. It rushed toward him at full-speed.
Before the creature could attack him, Moon Shadow threw some rocks at the bear to get its attention. The plan worked, and sure enough the rabid animal began to charge toward Moon Shadow.
He took a few steps backward but then slipped.
Just as the bear was about to pounce on Moon Shadow, the black lab jumped on its back and bit hard! The bear roared in pain and anger.
It rolled over on its back, and as the creature stood up again the dog lost its grip. But he was still determined to save Moon Shadow and the others.
The black lab jumped at the assailant again and this time bit one of the forelegs. But the bear raised its other foreleg and smacked the dog off; the dog flew a short distance and hit a tree.
Finally, Wind Rider fired at the bear again, and this time the rabid animal went down. Everyone spent a few minutes catching their breath and calming down.
Then they all went over to where the black lab landed after hitting the tree. He was completely stiff, nor did he react when Moon Shadow gently shook him.
“He saved us,” Moon Shadow said softly. A sadness came over him and Wind Rider.
Despite all the negative issues with their dog and the necessity they felt to put him down, they were mourning the black lab they knew and raised and just showed his loyal personality once more.
After a moment of silence, everyone walked over to the white sheet which had been dropped while escaping from the bear.
They were going to wrap the dog up in the white sheet before burying him. Moon Shadow picked it up, and they all turned back and walked toward the black lab.
Suddenly they all stopped in their tracks, astonished and slightly shocked.