by Diane Brandon

There was once a man named Shamar, who was very compassionate and wise, although he didn't think of himself as such.


Shamar was not aware of the Native American Indian traditional belief that all of life is connected, but he lived his life that way anyway.


Shamar lived by himself in a very small but tidy hut.


"Oh, how I wish I had someone to share my life."


Shamar often felt this way.  But he was a poor carpenter and work was not always easy to find.


The women he met appeared to lose interest when they found out that he was a poor carpenter.


But Raj, Shamar's golden-haired dog, did his best to keep Shamar company.


One morning, Shamar was eating his breakfast when he heard the roar of water coming.


He ran outside and quickly gathered a wide wooden piece that he had fashioned as a raft for just such an emergency.


You see, floods were no stranger to the place where Shamar lived.


"Raj, come!" Shamar called.


He tied a leash from Raj to around his waist so that they wouldn't be separated by the waters.


There was not a moment to lose:  all of a sudden the water was upon them.


It came with a rush, sweeping things before it.  Carts vanished.  Bushes vanished.  Rocks vanished.


Things were swirling and twisting around in the water.


Shamar and Raj were carried along by the water.  Shamar was holding tight to the raft.  The leash kept Shamar and Raj from getting separated.


After what seemed like a very, very long time, they felt less of a pull on them.  The water was calmer.


Shamar was able to stand up without being knocked over.


He righted the raft in the water and put Raj on top of it.


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