Every night , before we let our doggie out for a walk, we ensure that the gate is shut.
Remembering that I had shut the gate earlier, I unlatched the kennel. Out dashed the one year old, toy pomeranian, bolting like lightning and before I knew it, he disappeared out the gate, that was left partially open by some intruder.
I saw his black fur merging into the blackness of the night and
his flowy white tail dancing behind, disappearing gradually in the darkness as I sprinted after him.
Suddenly I realised that it was quite late and I was alone on the deserted road, which was also the national highway.
The occasional street lights guided my way as I ran
down the road calling out his name.
But Richie the toy pom was nowhere to be seen.
Dejected, I turned back dreading the moment, when I would have to break the news to my son, Sammy.
Richie was his pet.
And they adored each other.
A whistle from Sammy would make Richie rush back, I thought.
But now, as I reached the gate, Sammy was already out on the road, hearing my loud, shrill cries … ‘ Richie, Richie’.
What followed next was quite unexpected.
This tall guy who is almost eighteen, burst out wailing in despair and walking briskly in the direction I had come from.
I ran behind him telling him to slow down.
Lorries and cars sped past us and I exclaimed ‘Oh Lord’, each time a vehicle whooshed by.
I didn’t know which was more scary – the darkness, losing Richie or the possibility of one of us getting hit by a vehicle.
After walking for about half a kilometre, Sammy finally decided to turn back, heeding my pleas.
Between fits of weeping, Sammy would blame me for not checking whether the gate was open.
All my attempts to pacify him were in vain.
I told him to whistle but between his sniveling and whining , he just couldn’t.
The people in the nearby ‘Anthi kada’, (the roadside shop that served food at night), stepped out watching this lively spectacle.
Soon, they too joined us in our search.
A police vehicle, that was night patrolling, screeched to a halt, to enquire about the commotion.
I walked away ducking my head in the dark , leaving it to the others, to explain because
I had forgotten my mask in my haste.
Then out of the blue, we heard a woof!
Sammy managed a clear whistle this time and there came running from afar, a little black and white furry bundle.
All of us stood watching as Richie bounded with joy right into Sammy’s arms, open wide.
All is well that ends well,
and slowly we walked back home.
The starry sky, that night, witnessed the threesome…
an unusually quite and calm Richie, held tightly by a gasping Sammy and me, a seething mom,
seething with annoyance and embarrassment at the untoward happenings,
that could have been avoided.