Angel with Four legs
My son, Pachu hadn’t been back from school for over 15 minutes, which was very unlike him and I was worried. Just as I decided to go out and see if I could figure out the reason for this, he came running towards the gates of our compound and seemed relieved to see me. He had a slightly scraped elbow and his bag looked dirty. He looked as if he had cried sometime back on the way but was acting brave for his mom. Worried, I bent down to hug him. “Can I take biscuits for the dog?” he said against my chest.
Although I was worried about the cause of the scraped elbow, I couldn’t help but laugh at this untimely request. You see, everyone in my family knows that my sweet kid doesn’t like dogs. I took him in the house and told him that I would give the food for the dog after he would tell me what had happened.
“I dislike dogs but things have changed now. He saved my life and my tiffin box” said my son in all seriousness. This was the tiffin box that Pachu had found after visiting 9 different shops some weeks back. I was glad that it was saved because I had no intention of going back on a “shopping hunt” (my hubby liked to call it so as opposed to treasure hunt) with my never tiring monkey.
He pleaded again “When can I take food for the dog?” I repeated myself again and added the magical word “promise” to make it official. He smiled through his red eyes, for the first time in 5 minutes and heaved a sigh of relief.
“Now tell me what exactly happened with the dog.” My voice had a mix of threat and plead.
“Blacky saved my life!”
“Blacky is the dog you want to take biscuits for” I asked.
He looked up and his face glowed as he said “Yes, can I have them now?”
My taciturn son couldn’t understand that I needed details. “Sigh!” is all I could do.
I handed him his glass of milk, and after gulping it down he looked at me with confused eyes. “I need to know how he saved your life, Pachu” I cried “Did you fall down in a pit?” “Did gangsters chase you?” thought my hyper imaginative mind as always.
“No, but Raghav did”
He thankfully continued “I was walking back home after school. Raghav pulled at my bag from my behind. I fell down. The lock of the bag opened and everything came out of the bag. My yellow tiffin-box fell near his feet. Raghav picked it up and inspected it. He obviously liked it. He called for one of his friends and they shook their heads together.”
“I decided to take it back but the bully pushed me away and I fell down again. That is when I got this hurt and screamed” said Pachu showing me his elbow. He kept it raised till I gave it a kiss.
“Blacky must have heard it and came running towards us” he continued. “I got scared, mumma but as afraid to move and water came out of my eyes automatically. Blacky barked and growled at Raghav. Even Raghav got scared.”
I smiled at my son and hugged him again. “Raghav dropped the tiffin box and ran away.” he said with happiness in his voice. “Blacky barked and howled till they left and then he barked some more as if to keep them away for good.” he said, almost in esctacy. “Then Blacky put the tiffin box in his teeth and got it for me”
“Were you not afraid of Blacky at that time?” I questioned.
“Yes, Mumma! I remember Blacky barking and growling at Vinay when Vinay tried to take Blacky’s pup.”
I was about to explain to my son that Blacky was just being a protective father, when he suprised me with his intelligence. “But now I understand that Blacky was wanting his pup back like I wanted my tiffin-box back. Blacky is not bad. Puppies are more difficult to get than the tiffin-box na?” he asked with an innocence that only a 9 year old can have.
I nodded as I was at a loss for words.
“I had kept one biscuit pending in my box. I gave it to him and He ate it in one bite. Like that” He said with clicking his little fingers. “I pet Blacky on the head and he liked it, Mumma. I think he is hungry. Shall we take him the biscuits now?”
I said yes as I picked him in hands and we went to feed Blacky. I realized that he came home running not because of the bullies or any other fear but out of love for blacky.
Maybe Blacky was an angel in disguise, maybe my son’s guardian. Whatever may be the reason, Blacky sure did save my son, not from the bullies but from a loveless life without pets and for which I will be ever so grateful.
Originially published in the July 2014 issue of "Tamarind Rice"