A Milennium Mystery

Jordan watched a bird outside her window. Hers! She had never had a window to herself before. A foundling, she had been raised in the
Dharya Children’s Home, along with a variety of foster homes until Pastor Tony Bemder and his wife Emmya adopted her and she had been put on a
space cruiser to go to her new home to live with her new parents.

“Jordan! Breakfast!” Emmya called out. Jordan had a hard time thinking of her as her mother yet. Maybe that would come with time. She checked
herself in the mirror. Her black hair was pulled back into it’s usual pony tail, Her clothes matched and were clean, having been pulled out of
the closet that morning.

“Coming!” She called back, as she stepped out of the door. As she closed the door shut, she heard a sound at her window. An odd snuffling
sound. She stopped in the doorway, which kept the door from closing automatically and looked back. There was another snuffle, then a knocking
beneath her window.

“Jordan!” This time it was her new father, Tony. “Hurry up or you’ll be late for school. Just orientation for you today, but you need to be
there on time.”

“Yes! I’m on my way!” Jordan stepped into the hallway and ran to the dining room where she found her new mother and father already.

“We’ll both take you in to school, today, Jordan, so that we can meet your teacher,” Tony said as she sat down. The household robot rolled over
with a plate that was heaped with hash brown potatoes, sausage, and scrambled eggs. It slid the plate in front of her and rolled back.
Here is your breakfast, Jordan,” it said.

Emmya said, “I remember that you don’t like to see the egg yolks, so I thought scrambled eggs was best for you today. Other days we’ll have
pancakes or something,”

“This is fine,” Jordan mumbled, reaching for a fork. She bit into her first sausage link, then remembered. “Oh! I forgot! Should I have prayed?
I’m not used to it, you know.”

Tony laughed. “I’m sure God understands, Jordan. I prayed over the meal before you came in. I included you in that prayer. I’ll teach you how
to pray over your food, though, when you want.”

Emmya said. “It took you awhile to come in here. Was there a problem?”

Jordan said. “I heard something outside my window. Something sniffing. And then a bump. That was all.”

“Ah.” Emmya looked at her husband. “Maybe we should check that out, honey, before you go to work today.”

“I’ll do that.”

The three of them began eating in earnest then, and in just a few minutes the plates were empty. Jordan stood up. “Can I go see if there’s
anything under my window? I mean, I have a few minutes before I need to be at school and I’m all ready.”

Emmya and Tony looked at each other, then Tony looked at her. “Five minutes,” he said, “because you’ll need to wash up, but, yes. Go ahead.”

Jordan raced out the door as only a nine-year-old can. Outside she slowed down enough that if there was something out by her room, it wouldn’t
be scared. By her window, she found it. Curled up and napping was a dog. Gray and white, about the size of a border collie, as she approached
it, it whimpered and looked at her with pleading eyes. Around it’s neck was a red ribbon and on the ribbon was a tag. Kneeling down next to it
she looked at the tag, which read. TO JORDAN BENDER ON HER FIRST FULL DAY IN MILENNIUM! I WILL BE YOUR BEST FRIEND AND DEFENDER WITH A LITTLE
KINDNESS AND LOVE. Jordan’s eyes filled with tears. A dog for her very own. And a room to sleep in and play in. Her new parents were seeming
more like a real Mom and Dad all the time. She found where the dog was tied and unhooked the end that was hooked into the stake in the yard.

“I think they know about you,” she told the dog, “but let’s go inside anyway and get you some food!” The dog leapt to it’s feet and began
licking her hand, making Jordan erupt into giggles. That made the dog bark. “Come on! Let’s go in!” She led the dog back to the front door,
then stopped before going in. “I never got a present before, and most people get those at Christmas,” she told the animal. “So I guess I’ll
call you Nicky.”

The dog barked once and they went into the house together.