Pete Maguire from Dublin sat with his loyal best friend
Bozo, on the pavement outside Bewleys tearoom in the heart of  Dublin - the city of James Joyce.

Bozo was a brown and beige basset hound with a long tongue. He loved to lick the hand of every passerby who patted his head. His brown silky floppy ears almost touched the ground as did his sausage-esque underbelly.  He would silently plead to the punters with his expressive eyes to buy a copy of The Big Issue. "Woof woof" he would utter. The punters would stare, mesmerised and automatically buy. Bozo had "spoken" to them, throwing back his head with long cascading ears. They must obey the master!  Pete would thus make a £1.50 profit on each magazine sold for £3. He would chant like a Buddhist the words "Big Issue, buy buy buy" over and over again until it became a mantra. Bozo would accompany his master giving a throaty audible lingering growl.

The Big Issue was an cultural thought provoking magazine. Pete was proud that the Christmas edition featured himself and Bozo, wearing reindeer antlers and a bright red festive tartan scarf, on the cover. Inside was an article with photos of Big Issue sellers all over England with their beloved dogs.

People loved Bozo probably more than poor homeless Pete. They gave willingly with the spirit of Christmas in their hearts. Pete was sad when he thought of Christmas and Boxing Day with Bewleys closed. People with their families would be sitting down to a roast turkey with all the trimmings while he and Bozo went without. No family to speak of. He had quarrelled with his successful father, run away when he was 15 and ended up on the streets succumbing to drugs and worse. Only memories of childhood turkey dinners and the warmth of a real loving home when his mother was alive. All gone. He and Bozo only had each other hoping that some kind soul would remember them and bring scraps from their dinner table the next day.

Bozo dolefully looked his master in the eye, growling "bow wow" and Pete was sure he heard him 'say'
'Don't worry master, the Queen of the bitches will provide.'

Written in Evolution, December 2016 after reading the Xmas edition of The Big Issue!