The monks let me sleep outside on the grounds after I swept their floors of dust. The stone statues of foxes guarding the entrance looked dead; serious. I coughed into the night and looked up at the statues looking out. They wore bright red bibs. I wondered if they were supposed to be gods or guardians (or both). I woke up sweating to the sound of tourists taking pictures in the morning sun.
The statues followed me throughout the country. Small packs of them carved from granite with little bowls of water set in front. I thought of you, then home and finally what makes a person good, honest and brave.
Good luck runs out with money. I sat in my first real bed in months, wishing for a real pack of limber foxes, loud brass keys. In my dreams, they all stand sentinel in a line and say don’t worry, don’t worry and all I ever say back is, but how?
The Book of Chameleons
Jose Eduardo Agualusa