It was a bright, sunny morning.
A loud voice echoed from inside the Italian restaurant.
The voice was gradually approaching the kitchen door.
"Okay, okay. How many times do have to say the same thing? Who do you think you're talking to? Don't worry. Everything is going to be just fine."
You could hear the voice clearly, even from the back alley where Charo and Dread were eating.
"Here comes the noisy one."
"Margherita. She lives here, at the restaurant. She's got a big mouth, and she sticks her nose into everything."
"Margherita. Sounds like pizza."
Margherita came out with a shopping basket hanging around her neck.
She was a middle-sized, rather chubby female dog.
Her trademark was a bright bandana.
She seemed very happy, easy to please, with a very good temperament.
She sees Dread.
"Hey, Dread. I haven't seen you for a quite while. how've you been?"
With that, she winked at him.
But Dread turned aside, not wanting to be involved.
"Oh, don't act like that. That's not how a gentleman should behave. I though you were friends, no? Come on, your sweet Margherita is asking how have you been. Why don't you give me a nice smile, a dog for a change."
"Never thought you were my friend."
"So you do hear me. Good. And you --- dog, that's great. Anyway, what a wonderful day! Look at the beautiful sunshine! It's bright and shiny. I can tell something special is going to happen. Don't you think so, Dread?"
"Humph. Who knows?"
"Come on, Dread. Oh! Oh my, oh my, oh my, oh my! Who is this little one? He's so cute! Hey, what's your name? I've never seen you before, have I?"
"Yes, you, I'm talking to you, little prince. What a sweet thing! You really are, you know, you really tickle my eyes."
Charo just stared at her with his mouth open.
Margherita was talking so fast that Charo could not understand a word.
"What's that? What did you say? Well, whatever, I'm Margherita. Call me that, okay?"
"Could you speak more slowly, please?"
"He just came from Japan. Your machine-gun talk is too fast for him."
"Oh my! You came all the way from Japan? Unbelievable! Welcome to New York, then. This is such a grand city. It's got history. It's got culture. Everyone wants to come to New York. It's a great city in the world."
"Hey, I was saying you should speak more slowly."
"Oh, yes, sure. I forgot. I'm going to first point. Okie-dokie. My name is Margherita. Mar-ghe-ri-ta."
"Yes. You've got to remember me."
"And what's your name, darling?"
"Charo. My name is Charo."
"That's a nice name. Charo. I'll call you that, Charo. And may I ask you something, Charo? Whatever happened to your owner family? Are they eating at my place? Are they from Japan, too? Do they like Italian food. Sorry, I'm talking too fast again. Where is your family?"
"Um... they went back to Japan."
"What? They brought you to New York in just left? Oh, poor thing! Charo, you were abandoned!"
"It means you dumped. Thrown away, you know, bye bye, sayonara."
"No! I'm just lost."
"Whatever it is terrible. But don't you worry. You've got Margherita here. From now on I am your friend. Ta-da! You see? I'm your friend."
Dread had enough of Margherita's talk.
He lay down to let the storm leave.
"I've got an idea. I'm going shopping. How would you like to come with me?"
"Shopping? Dogs ... shop?"
"Of course, dogs can shop easy."
"If you are going to live here, you should know the way around. When I first came from Italy, I couldn't tell East from West. But look me now. So come on Charo. Follow me."
Margherita started to walk.
Charo quickly asked Dread for advice.
"What do you think?"
"You'll get to see the city. Good chance to learn."
"Charo! I'm going!"
"Yes! Please wait!"
Charo ran to catch up with Margherita.
He was excited. He was going shopping for the very first time.
He could almost forget the unhappy incidents that he was going through, at least, for the moment.