Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 7 June 2015





Marriage Proposals
Government Gazette
Short Story

A dog's life

Grandpa, please tell us about these humans.” Four wooly puppies cuddled close to their old father. “Well children it is a long story. Did you see me wagging my rickety tail when little Savanjith gave me that bone?” Yes, grandpa, we love Savanjith and Saranjith who like us.” “You see my little ones, I wagged my tail as an act of gratitude.”

We protect their homes from thieves and reptiles. Of course, we look after their lovely children.” “Grandpa,” said little Tommy. “Grandpa, please tell us the story about Grayfrair's Bobby.”

“Now how do you know that story?”

“One day, Savanjith's sister Sarah, said that you remind them of Grayfrairs Bobby.” “Bow, wow what a compliment.” I feel proud. It seems, Bobby, one of our kind was with a little boy in the house. The boy's father was out. When the father returned, Bobby came out. There was blood all over his face. The father could not find the son. He killed Bobby thinking that he had harmed his son. Later he found him behind a cupboard.

A big snake was beside him. Bobby had killed the snake to protect the son. Father carried the body of Bobby, right round the village crying. A grand funeral was held for Bobby. Children still visit the grave of Grayfrair's Bobby. The puppies licked grandpa's face. “Thank you, grandpa.” “That is their good side.

They use our female species when they ridicule women. 'Dog in a manger’, 'died like a dog’, 'led a dog's life’, are some of the expressions that are used when humans want to insult anyone in their community.

Women shear our coats and at times dye them to match their dresses. They dress us in tight fitting costumes. So tight that we cannot even attend to our daily obligations. We are sometimes made to run after a stuffed rabbit. We run like mad. They bet on the winner. At times we are served as a delicacy.”

The four puppies looked scared. All got on to the body of the grandpa. He licked them. “Don't be afraid. It never happens here, never.” Still my little ones, humans are adorable. They look after us, in sickness and in health. They inoculate us against a dangerous disease called hydrophobia. They cry when we die. We sleep on their beds, on the chairs and sofas.

They bathe us, shampoo us, and also write lovely stories about us. We are taught to perform in circuses. In some countries, we look after their cattle and sheep. Now they have found that our presence can give a lot of happiness to the sick.

Little ones, very soon, you all will be rolling and playing with the human little ones. I could go on and on. Now, just as you belong to the famous Labrador breed, the most beloved, commonest but alas the most despised are the mongrels.

They are the homeless. But, when taken into a home, they become the best. The young ones were yawning. “Now, go and drink your milk and go to sleep.” “Your mother is waiting for you.” “Thank you grandfather, good night.”

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