A BOND OF LOVE
Our family has always been close to animals. There is a special kind of connection that has been running down the generations. Now this tale starts on a cold, wintry night towards the end of January. My parents, my brother Ayaan, and I had decided to go out to a restaurant. I don’t know why, but we voted for a walk even in that cold. On the way back, when we were not even halfway to our house, a car zoomed past us. We were just wondering whether it would hit a shop or stall, when we heard a puppy cry out. At once we knew that the car had run over it. Even as my father and Ayaan were running towards the puppy, another car ran over it! My mother was furious at the car driver. The guy would have heard the puppy cry, but he seemed to have been deaf and blind.
Naturally, Ayaan, on seeing the puppy, was on the verge of tears. When my mother and I had walked over to Dad and Ayaan, we saw that the pup’s parents were there too. My mom was a bit scared (for Ayaan and me) at this, but they were far from even growling at us. My father carried the pup to the sidewalk. The place where we were standing was just 50 yards from the only veterinarian in the whole of our neighbourhood. Dad and Ayaan went there to get the doctor, but the clinic was closed. Ayaan insisted on atleast getting something to eat for the injured pup, so they returned with a bun each for the pup and his parents. On the way back home, something unexpected happened. Ayaan quietly said, ‘I am going to feed the pups near our house everyday.’ Surprisingly enough, even Mom supported him and said, ‘Every weekend would be good enough.’
So began our regular visits to the dogs near our house. We were so overwhelmed with joy seeing dogs and pups jumping alike at the sight of the food in our hands, that it seems impossible to describe it. There was a cute black pup in the park in front of our house. She was already healthier than the other pups. She had a sister who was bigger than her, with whom she used to roam around, playing. Well, early morning on January 28 when I opened the door to go to school, she was sitting on our doormat, shivering. Mom gave her some of her old clothes and some biscuits to eat. When we came back from school, we learnt that one of our neighbours had taken her in as a pet. They couldn’t let her in, so she slept in the gallery, in the bitter cold. By the next evening, they were ready to leave her back in the park, don’t know why. The poor pup was homeless again. I was very angry. They were showing no sensitivity to her emotions. So I convinced Mom to keep her in front of our flat. Life was almost as usual, except for the feeding we had to do.
Many of the residents of our apartment were happy with this newcomer. Another apartment in our street had kept a dog with a joint fund, which provided excellent security, better than a guard. This was proposed for our pup too. But some residents were annoyed as she was still untrained and littered around. On January the 3rd, when we came home, she was nowhere to be seen. When we asked Mom, she said that while we had been busy with her chores, some of the neighbours had put her in a sack and thrown her far away, near the railway station, where she could have easily died. My parents had a big, heated argument with the neighbours that evening. Sensitive and emotional as he is, Ayaan refused to eat and acquired high fever.
A few days later, life seemed to return to normal. We had almost forgotten about the pup. But there was a connection, and destiny wanted us together. On February the 19th, 17 days after the incident, when Ayaan and I were studying, we heard a bark and the sound of breaking glass. She had come back, found her way in this long a journey! We recognized her voice at once, and dropped our books as we ran to the door. The guard had tried to shoo her off, but his tumbler had fell in the attempt, hence the sound. We let her in, and kept her as our family. We savoured as we saw the looks on our neighbours’ faces as they realized what luxuries were written in her destiny. We named her ‘Pixie’, on my suggestion.
Well, everything has its pros and cons. Pixie was extremely loving, more than one could imagine, but she needed extra attention and had bound us to our house. Even nearby visits were impossible. So after 10 months of her return, we reluctantly decided to give her away to a known person. The family was extremely loving, but small comfort. She was not with us and mere words cannot describe the grief of losing her love and affection. But there was yet another proof we would get that there was a divine connection between us. The story had not come to an end.
We humans consider ourselves to be emotional and sensitive, but the truth is : animals have feelings too. Pixie must have been very shocked at this sudden change of environment, and moreover, at what I think was our “betrayal”. Two weeks she spent in distress. I cannot even imagine how miserable she must have felt in those days. Then, three weeks later, give or take a few days, I lay in bed, relishing a few memories of her, the moments when I had played with Pixie. I suddenly had a strange urge. I prayed to God, that if Pixie was not fine, then I should get some “signs”. With this thought, I rolled over to sleep.
The next few days passed with difficulty. Every now and then, Pixie came into my talks or my thoughts. On the 30th of December, we received a call from the person who had taken Pixie, telling us that she had been ill for the last week, and refused to eat. Mom immediately told him to expect us the next day.
The 31st of December, New Year’s Eve, we had Pixie back with us. We have resigned to the fact that we can do nothing about it. Pixie will live with us. Perhaps there really is a divine superpower making the Universe work as it wished.
This story has been written by Arish for his school competition. I was pleasantly surprised at his sensitivity and writing style.