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This chapter from the forthcoming book, 'Korean Boy,' tells of one of the tragic incidents of wartime, in which a boy's love for his dog is put to a fearful test. (Lothrop, Lee and Shepard, Inc. $2.50)
Three days have passed since the nine members of our family, including Mero, escaped to this small village from Chongju on the ninth day of July, 1950. Today is the 12th day of July.
All last night the sky over Chongju was as bright as though the sun were rising in the night. From this we knew that Chongju was being bombed by U.N. planes, and we imagined the whole city had been destroyed.
At this small mountain village of Tun-kol we were able to rent a very small room in which Mother and the small children slept. My father, my younger brother and I slept on the mong sok, or straw mat, on the ground.
Mero, my dog, who always sticks to my side, was sleeping with her chin resting on my throat when I woke up.
"Hey, Mero! Get up off there!" I said.
Mero jumped up quickly.
"Did you sleep well?" I asked Mero and took hold of her by the ears and shook her gently. She is a beautiful purebred German shepherd dog, colored dark brown and yellow.
Mero became a member of our family early one summer when the young barley heads were beginning to grow in the blue-green valley fields and the cherry trees were blossoming vigorously along the Musim River banks. I remember well because I was in fourth year high school and used to go to school through the tunnel of overhanging cherry trees along the river.
One day when I came home from school I found a puppy dog eating her supper on the porch.