Lili Dauphin’s book, Golden Golden Soul is the fourth book in the series about Tilou.
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Golden Soul, the fourth book in the series about Tilou, is a fascinating book that delves further into Tilou’s precious spirituality and strength. Golden Soul is the story of a little girl, Tilou and her relationship with an abandoned dog. Tilou faces challenges, including recognizing and conquering superstition. It is a story about loyalty that becomes a matter of life and death. It is also a story about overcoming fear while standing up for what is right.
Lili Dauphin’s book, Golden Soul, is a positive message about faith and goodness, about the need for love and acceptance, and most of all it is a story about love, friendship and courage.
As I lay inert on the beach, I can feel salt water leaking out of my mouth onto the pristine, white beach. I can hear the chirping of the birds as I slowly raise my head, grateful just to be alive. I look up to see the sun that has vanished; replaced by the large, beautiful moon above. The moon looks like a huge flashlight, illuminating my helpless and achy body with its shining light. I can hear a dog howling loudly in the distance. It is a bad omen to hear a dog howl during a full moon. It represents impending danger, as my great grandpa used to say.
“Am I still in danger or am I out of it?” I think to myself.
I can feel my heartbeats. I can hear the sound of the waves. I can feel the gentle wind against my face. I can also feel the heavy breathing of a good friend sitting right here next to me, reassuring me that everything is going to be fine. My friend is sloppily licking me, leaving his dribble all over my face. His special way of saying that he loves me and that I will be okay. Right away, I start to feel more at ease, knowing that this gentle and golden soul would never hurt me. He reminds me of this mysterious island of Clay Rouge where Gran had taken me to find a cure for my sickness. This dog was in such bad shape, due to injuries that he had sustained. I never anticipated that he would live to be seen again. The natives in Clay Rouge tried to kill the dog because they believed he was possessed by evil spirits. Is this him sitting right here before me?
“How did he survive? How did he find his way here to Tiville? And most significantly where did this dog really come from?”
I can’t shake the feeling that I may have met this dog long before my trip to Clay Rouge. I’m fascinated by this dog sitting right here, looking at me, like a great human being would. His big, beautiful black eyes are so full of life and hope. I can’t help but find strength from his compassion.
“Where did you come from? Where do I know you? Why do we keep running into each other?” I see a heart shaped marking under his chest and faint memories start to surge inside my head.
“Where do I know you?” I say to my friend.
He licks my face once more as if to say: ”It doesn’t matter.”
I don’t speak “dog” language but body language is universal even amongst animals.
“Ah ha! I got it finally. It’s you! You are Nula? Aren’t you?” I open my eyes wide with excitement. I get up and sit down directly in front of the dog. The amazing canine’s eyes grow bigger and his tail wags out of control. He lays his paws on my shoulder as if to say. “Yes, you know me from before.”
Soon, I start to remember where and when I first met this gentle and beautiful soul. The memory of the five puppies behind a tree starts to emerge in my head just like the moon in the beautiful dark sky.
I was once stranded on a small island named Bel Soley (Beautiful Sun) when I came upon a litter of five puppies that was left alone. They must have been a few weeks old already because their eyes were open. They were so beautiful that I wanted to take them all home to Tiville with me.
I bent down to look more closely at them when I heard a growl that made me look up. A dog with bared teeth started to run right at me. It was the puppies’ mother, intent on protecting her babies. I got out of her way and kept a safe distance. The Mama Dog eventually calmed down, joining her little ones to feed them.
Soon afterwards, I noticed another puppy the same size as the others, walking towards the rest. I watched Mama Dog block that particular puppy from joining the litter by moving it away from the others. I followed from a safe distance, watching her lay the puppy down behind a large tree, before returning to her brood.
“Huh!” I thought. “What is Mama Dog up to?” I first thought perhaps Mama Dog wanted to move all of the puppies to another place. “Why would she take that particular puppy and leave it by itself? Why would she not feed it like she does the others?”
I found Mama Dog’s behavior quite bizarre. The next day the puppy again came back to the litter. Mama Dog moved the puppy even further away from the rest of the litter. I was confounded. Why would she treat her own baby in this manner? When she returned, I fetched the puppy myself and brought it back to Mama Dog. Mama Dog once again picked up the puppy and took it even further away, dropping it by the beach, before quickly turning back to her other puppies. I thought about this strange behavior. I looked at the other five “babies” and noticed that three were brown and two were white. Mama dog is white with brown spots all over her body while the puppy that she kept taking away looked quite different from the others. The outcast puppy was black with white boots on all four paws, a white tail, a white spot on his forehead and a very distinguished white spot under his chest. He was simply too adorable for his physical characteristics to have anything to do with Mama Dog’s behavior.
I decided to bring the puppy back one final time, hoping Mama Dog will have second thoughts and allow him into the litter. This time she allowed the puppy to stick around for a while, maybe in an attempt to please me or get rid of me, but did not feed him. In fact, I now noticed that the puppy was skinnier than his brothers and sisters.
The night had come and I stuck around to see what would happen next. I watched Mama Dog take the puppy away again, this time to the river, to make certain that the puppy would never return. I chased after Mama doggie.
“Rete! Rete la! (“Stop it! Stop right there.”)
Mama Dog stopped and turned, dropped the puppy, and ran away as if to say, “He’s all yours.” So I picked up the abandoned puppy and took him home to my little thatched house where I lived at the time. I named him Nula. Which means, “We’re here.” or” We’re alive or we’ll make it.” I nurtured the little puppy and brought him back to health. The little dog became part of my family. My own dog Moun welcomed Nula with open arms and treated him like a son. One day, after a storm, I went to take a bath at the nearby river and when I came back, Nula was gone. I combed the entire village looking for him, to no avail. My heart was broken into many little pieces when I lost that little dog.
Today, here he is, the same little dog that I rescued right before my own eyes! He is no longer small but a big, compassionate dog with a golden soul. The heart shaped spot under his chest is even more noticeable today than it was when he was a puppy.
“I know you! I know you! I know you! I know you!” I yell in exhilaration.
My own scream finally convinces me that the dog and I shared a common bond.
“Did you save my life from the furious ocean waves?” I ask.
The dog sits right there looking at me straight in the eyes. His stoic expression doesn’t provide any answers to my question.