A man was given a dog, which he loved very much.
The dog went with him everywhere,
but the man could not teach it to do anything useful.
The dog would not fetch or point,
it would not race or protect or stand watch.
Instead the dog sat near him and regard him,
always with the same inscrutable expression.
'That's not a dog, it's a wolf,' said the man's wife.
'He alone is faithful to me,' said the man,
and his wife never discussed it with him again.
One day the man took his dog with him into his private airplane
and as they flew over high winter mountains,
the engines failed
and the airplane was torn to shreds among the trees.
The man lay bleeding,
his belly torn open by blades of sheared metal,
steam rising from his organs in the cold air,
but all he could think of was his faithful dog.
Was he alive? Was he hurt?
Imagine his relief when the dog came padding up
and regarded him with that same steady gaze.
After an hour the dog nosed the man's gaping abdomen,
then began pulling out intestines and speen and liver and gnawing on
all the while studing the man's face.
'Thank God,' said the man.
'At least one of us will not starve.' "
from The God Whispers of Han Qing-Jao
It's the quote which begins Chapter 3 of Children of the Mind
by Orson Scott Card. Comments please on the story itself, as presented
(you need not have read the novel it is in or any previous).