Onion Moon by Shelby Johnson

  • Shelby Johnson, M.F.A. 2023
  • Hometown

    Dallas, Texas

I have two dogs, but for a moment I had three. In February of 2021, all of Texas froze over and shut down, leaving people without heat and water. In this freeze, I found a dog with no owner and that no shelter would take. A strange husky that made himself at home with my two dogs. His tail was a perfect white spiral and thus he was named Onion for his tail. He joined us on our evening walks and at the end of the walks I would stargaze. One constellation that was always visible from my Dallas apartment was Orion. Tales about the hunter Orion reveal that he had two dogs, and they would chase animals across the skies. I bet his dogs were loyal. I like to think he was kind to them. Stories say that Orion's dogs had such swift feet that nothing could outrun them. I wrote a comic about my dogs and Orion. Onion howls to the moon and opens a portal for the dogs and me to visit the stars.

Onion is a cunning dog. He came with us when we moved to Ithaca, but he didn't stay with us for long. He loves to run more than anything, and one day he ran and didn't come back. I am amending my comic to let Onion live with the stars and the moon. A strange white husky with the swiftest feet known to man.

Onion Moon reflects on loving memories and fleeting strong bonds.

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