A Eulogy To My four Legged Friend
So my friend died yesterday and I never even knew its name. Yes, you guessed right. My friend, who died so suddenly, pushing me into shock, was of the four legged variety. He was a stray, an abandoned mutt who made our street his own. We made friends by being the only two persons who walked about that street at all times of the day. The other residents usually saw the street from behind the tinted windows of their cars. Only I and the dog I mentally labeled as that brown mutt were the two souls to regularly walk those streets. Me, I did it for my health and to try and lose a few grams after gorging on kilos of food. He, well I guess he walked just for the sheer joy of giving me company. In fact he didn’t walk, walking is such an inadequate term to describe what he did- he usually gamboled along joyfully, sometimes in front of me, sometime behind me pausing to investigate every interesting thing in the road but usually managing to catch up with me even if I took a turn into a neighboring street while he was busy with his detective duties. With a whoosh he would go past me, then stop turn around and give me that look accusing me of not waiting up for hi patiently while he was a bit busy. I don’t remember when he attached himself to my person like this, I don’t remember how it all started, but for some time now I have developed the habit of going out to walk with a mandatory biscuit packet (tiger biscuits only- for so odd reason I could never find out) for my walking companion to give at the end of our walk. He would accompany me till the end of our gate, happily wolf down the biscuits and scamper off to sleep at his usual place below the street lamp right in the middle of the road. He was the boss. He owned the street and he was never shy of letting others know about it- humans or animals. There were many people on the street who didn’t like him and one or two even tried to pick a fight with me for feeding a starving stray animal. They wanted him to be destroyed by the authorities. Someone even phoned up the governmental dog catchers to have him caught and electrocuted like a criminal, but he was wiser than they thought and somehow escaped his fate that day. There were also a few who puzzled over how I had the guts to approach him and spend time with him (even pet him on the head) when he was such a stinking sorry mess. To those I replied that love knows no stench. And I meant that.
As time went by I even had to force myself to go for a walk on days when I didn’t feel like doing so (lazy bugger I am) because I knew he was waiting for me and would starve if I didn’t feed him those biscuits. He became my responsibility weighing on my conscience even if he never stuck to me beyond those times when we went for a walk. In fact, the clothes ironer opposite our house told me once that I was the only person he allowed near to touch, to pat him on the head while he barked the hell of anyone who tried to get near him. I must say I was both pleased and exasperated by this unlooked for privilege. Then last evening I went out on my regular round and he was missing. I asked around at the clothes ironing shop and learnt that my friend was lying dead inside the garbage unit at the end of the street. The ironing man hinted that someone had poisoned him. In fact he more than hinted and accused the person who lied in the house opposite the street lamp as the one who did it to off the dog as the dog spent all its time lying in front of their gate, even if it was on the street. If so, I couldn’t help thinking it’s the worst possible of all crimes. Poisoning someone who is just trying to satisfy their hunger cravings, poisoning someone who trusts you. Such a kind of cold blooded killing shook me to the marrow. I wanted to go over and fight but what could I say? Who would support me for fighting over an abandoned stray dog that lived on the streets? Anyway I had more important things to do; I rushed home, changed, took some money and a sack and went to the body. I retrieved my friend’s corpse and took it to the nearest burial ground where I paid to have him buried. I shed a few tears standing there and promised to come back with a sapling to plant over his grave and came home. And that night I couldn’t sleep much because I was thinking of four legged creatures who were gentlemen and two legged creatures that are monsters. This world is indeed a scary place if people can use others trust to murder them with food. And such monsters walk among us dressed decently and pretending to be persons.