The pickup truck entered Manhattan.
The crowded streets somehow made Charo feel better.
He jumped off the truck when it stopped at a red light.
He walked around but had no idea which way to go.
After a while, he felt so tired that he squatted down by a fence.
"Hey, where do you come from? This isn't a place to rest. This is the gate of a(our?) parking lot. You're blocking the way."
Manhattan was no longer a friendly town to Charo.
He had to move, but his legs felt so heavy.
At that moment, a good smell tickled his nose.
There was a cafe, and a happy couple was enjoying their late snack.
The woman saw Charo.
"Look! A cute little puppy."
"Hm. I hope he's not lost."
"Little pup, what are you doing here? He looks hungry. Maybe I should give him a piece of my sandwich."
"Hey, I don't think that's a good idea. It might get attached to you.
No, Dog, go away! Go back to your home! Shoo!"
Once again, Charo started to walk.
He was hungrier than ever.
But when he reached the next crossing, he stopped and looked up in amazement.
It was so pretty. The tall buildings were all being lit up.
And one of them seemed familiar.
Three weeks ago, Charo came from Japan to New York and stayed at a hotel on 42nd Street.
From there, they could see the Chrysler Building really close.
Charo suddenly felt happy again.
Forgetting how hungry he was, Charo started to run towards 42nd Street.
He used the tall and shining Chrysler Building as a guide.
Before long, he saw the hotel.
He happily ran ahead and tried to enter the front door, but...
"Hey! Hey, you can't come in here. Get out!"
"Let me in. I was here before."
"This is our hotel. Can you see? Ah, what am I doing? Dogs can't understand anyway."
"Away! Get going!"
Saying so, the doorman made a kicking gesture to make Charo leave.
Charo jumped and dashed away.
"Don't you come back, OK?"
Again, Charo was kicked out.
He remembered what the lady dog at the airport had told him.
Dogs aren't allowed in certain places unless they are with a human.
It was already getting dark.
Charo was lonely and helpless.
Not knowing what to do, he stumbled into the back alley of the hotel and lay down.
Charo felt stomped.
Somebody stepped on his tail.
He looked back, and a great big boxer was towering over him.
He looked mean, with an eye patch over his right eye.
"Hey. Who do you think you are? This is my territory."
"Oh, I'm sorry."
"You'd better be."
With that, the big dog started to walk away.
Charo was overwhelmed. But still, he found just enough courage to speak up.
"Which way is Japan?"
The boxer stopped.
"How long does it take to Japan?"
"If I walk. How long?"
The big dog couldn't believe what he had just heard.
He never thought such a small puppy would ask about such a distant country.
"Japan is far."
"It takes days?"
"You came from Japan?"
"Yes. I got lost at the airport. I was going back to Japan."
"But now you can't. Not it anymore."
"Dogs can't get on the airplane and not by themselves. You understand?"
"Japan is far, far, far away. For you, it'll take more than a lifetime."
"Yeah. That means you'll be more than old before you'll get there."
"I don't understand."
"You'll be dead. That's what I mean. Listen, you've got to learn to live here, forget about Japan and get used to it here. Now you understand?"
The big boxer began to walk again.
Charo sank down weakly.
Japan is that far. It was hard for him to swallow.
Tears started to flood his eyes.
He tried not to believe what he had heard.
But in the corner of his mind, he almost knew that it was true.
He felt as if all his strength was gone.
And that's no wonder, after all, he hadn't eaten anything all day.
Just then, his body floated up in the air.
"Okay, okay. I'll help you. But only for today."
It was Dread.
The boxer took Charo gently in his mouth and started move on.
To Charo, it was like being rocked in a cradle.
The city lights were moving back and forth, somehow he was very relaxed and comfortable.
Gladly, little Charo felt himself pass out.