Tuesday, 12 June 2012

STRANGER WITH A DOG (Flash Fiction)



The snow flakes fell down at their own pace. The falling snow through the glass window made me freeze at my spot. I noticed a dog on the road crouched under a wooden slab somewhere at the middle of the road. I felt an inner urge to bring that dog into my house. But I looked at the two year old Katy sleeping peacefully in the middle of the double-bed. And knowing the germs the dog would bring, I didn’t want to harm my little child in any way. I kept looking at the dog for a while, when the washing machine buzzer sounded and I went to the washroom to attend it. I adjusted the heater temperature and took out the clothes and hung them on the line. The morning was very chilly and I decided to make hot paranthas for breakfast. Chimney on and stove on low flame, I put the milk to boil. Waking up the sleeping beauty, I gave her a bottle of milk to drink from and started preparing break fast.
The door bell rung and as I went to get it, I passed the window and noticed the dog no more lying there. I just gave a fleeting thought as to where it might have gone, and without concerning about it for another second, I unbolted the main door. And there stood a middle-aged man, well dressed wearing leather boots, and in his hand, he held the dog. The dog that I pitied upon some few minutes ago. It wasn’t unclean; I noticed and seemed recently bathed. Could have been the man’s pet dog, I supposed. “Hello?” I asked. “Good morning Madam. As you can see it is snowing outside. I don’t really care about myself, but can you please let this dog in till the storm resides?” and that was it. He didn’t give me any more explanation as to where he will go for the time being, or if that dog is his. And without even waiting for my consent, he came forward and tried to hand over the beast to me. There was something in his eyes or his confidence that I would not refuse to help, I couldn’t say ‘no’.  And soon I knew I was standing holding the creature, which neither smelled, nor dirtied my clothes. And that stranger turned around to leave. “Even you can come in, if you want,” I spoke before I knew it. “No thanks, “
 he said, “I have to help others like him too.” And saying that I didn’t see him ever after that. “Huh?” I stood there in disbelief trying to understand what did “help others like him” mean. And others like the dog?? Now I doubted if the dog was his, or if he’ll ever come to take it once the snowing stops. I slowly came inside closing the door after me, wondering at the events of the day.

5 hours later:
I see through my window the same middle-aged man caressing a pigeon that has been hurt and is bleeding from its head. The snowing has almost stopped and it was now bearable enough for the dog. But the man hasn’t come here still. That dog lay by my rocking chair. As soon as I saw the man by my window, I ran outside to return “his” dog, if it was his, and by the time I reached the main gate, I saw him knocking the door of Mrs. Spain, my neighbor. And I stood there to witness the déjà-vu, while Mrs. Spain stood at my place, taking over the bird, as if she was hypnotized. I heard Katy call me, so I let the dog out, and it kept standing there by my house, but I came back inside. I washed up Katy and we had a hearty lunch.
Next morning, newspaper confirmed an animal-lover veterinarian going home to home, and handing over street animals, after injecting them so that the are safe, to save them from snow. News said that seven out of nineteen animals he gave ended up being made pet in those houses.

I went out today morning to see if the dog was still there, but no! But I could hear the sound of chirrup from Mrs. Spain’s house. And I smiling to myself went into the kitchen to prepare milk for Katy.

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