After the sun had gloriously descended into the Caribbean waters, my friends and I strolled back up the royal hill. Majestic clouds piled up on the horizon; heat lightning flashed all around us.
In the gathering darkness, a princely puppy came over to play. Frisky and small, maybe two months old, he junmped up against my leg and investigated my hands. Finding no food there, he gently mouthed my wrists and clearly invited me to play. I talked to him cheerfully and he listened, sitting near my feet and cocking his head at the sound of my voice.
My little friend was clearly not a stray. He wore a makeshift collar around his neck, with a large card I could not read in the darkness. I assumed he belonged to someone at the nearby food stall.
But as our car appeared, and we all jumped in and moved off, I looked back to see my little friend, sitting exactly where I left him, serenely watching as our car drove away.
And while I know it's just a fantasy, I like to think that this regal little fellow lives on at the castle, welcoming all who come to see the sunsets.
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Check out more stories about my once-in-a-lifetime trip to Cuba and my wonderful friends who lived there: