The Day of the Dog
“Those were the days, when the world was as the great creator, the three headed Kerberus, had intended it to be…” Old Bitch began, lazily circling and tamping the soft leaves and rubbish into a cushion before settling down for a long Sunday predawn sermon. A lone streetlight in that narrow lane was still shining brightly. It is their favored place for their weekly gatherings that always followed a midnight feast, near the late night restaurant’s garbage dump.
I being half breed Pomeranian, greatly disadvantaged by the stature of my parent, was relegated to the most disagreeable corner crawling with fleas. My belly, well sated by a large leftover portion of chicken kebabs, desperately wanted to get back to my native territory – a beautiful tree-lined street in Defense Colony – and lie down in air conditioned comfort under the car parked in the porch of Wobbly Legs, ah! That is one humane biped, who had never failed to leave a nice little breakfast for me, every morning, properly wrapped in a flimsy plastic bag.
But … Old Bitch is a bitch.
She doesn’t like anyone in her congregation missing her weekly discourses – those who are mad enough will be doggedly hounded by her terriers – “Dog’s life!” a low snarl escaped my jaws. Immediately, I looked around to see if someone had noticed. Thank Dog! None of those Dylan’s dogs prowling around. I looked up at Old Bitch, perched high on the rubbish mound, as she continued with her gobbledygook extolling the virtues of canine race.
“Those were the idyllic days when we were simple pack living and sharing the pleasures of communal life. In our little dens deep in woods, we were all grey and had no disparities.
“There…! He was a great leader. We all hunted with him, – so strong we were then – and we could bring down even a mighty mammoth. Do you know mammoths?” she paused, scratching her flanks, “They were huge – even bigger than those gigantic city buses – and equally vicious. And, the legends say that it was our hunters that sent their species to extinction”
Entire congregation began to nod their heads LOL-ling their tongues, warming to the rhetoric.
“It was a historic blunder”, finally she launched into her familiar rant, “when some of our ancestors began to follow the bipeds. A false sense of comfort in bourgeois kennels and our eagerness to catch the attractive bones that they tossed at us sounded the death knell to a glorious phase in history. We were enslaved – they turned us into sentries to guard their misbegotten wealth. We became shepherds. Brother against brother – we gamely chased our own kind when they hunted. Mutely taking orders, faithfully, we even subjected ourselves to such heinous makeovers to fit their pockets.”
The entire congregation responded perking their ears up.
“So far, our struggles to make a point, our attempts at reaffirming our dignity are largely ignored by bipeds, secure in their homes guarded by our own greyhound brethren. They even have the temerity to parade our Kennel Club members on leash, in spite of our noisy protests. Our occasional exultations after a few sporadic attacks by our belligerent brothers, terrorizing the biped puppies and defenseless oldies only serve as trivial entertainment, and no more. Those undignified cries of their helpless females, cornered by our playful adolescents are brushed away as harmless teasing. Even our loud concerted pursuits are ignored by those motorcyclists, reckless enough to keep coming back to our territories and disturb peace.”
A solemn gloom descended on the congregation interrupted by a few feeble snivels of despondence.
“Do not whine, my comrades in fangs”, Old Bitch gave a terse woof. “You are the fortunate ones. You live in a city, a city of future, the Land of Litter and Garbage promised by Kerberus, himself … a ray of light at the end of a long burrow of time …”
A collective howl interrupted her tirade as the lone streetlight flickered and died. A buzz of discontent at the failure of civic bodies followed as each one tried to adjust their night vision.
“Don’t you bitch” Old Bitch growled.
“The civic bodies of this city are peerless,” She continued furiously. “They are our allies in our struggle against the oppression of bipeds. We owe our numbers and freedom to them. Their acts of magnanimity are numerous – dark alleys, bumpy roads and unlimited supply of unattended garbage – and give us a tactical advantage over those two-legged freaks. I strongly denounce criticism of this city’s noble civic authorities.
“You better have down pat, comrades, they are dogs’ best friends,” she barked.
A lone yip reverberated in the stunned silence that followed. It was the leader of a stray terror outfit called Cubbon Pack, that made the long verandahs of a red building its lair, raising his paw rather tentatively as he began to speak.
“Comrade Old Bitch,” he raised his whimper to a howl, for everyone to hear, “I have terrifying news. The reactionary forces are gathering momentum under our own snouts. There is a new vixen in town that was stirring up hornets with questions which no one dared to utter, atleast not until now, are pricking the conscience of our friends. The civic powers that be are completely foxed by them. I expect some vigilant onslaught in the days to come.”
His words sent a chill down my spine all the way back to my tail.
“Hush” Old Bitch barked and grinned with her canines hidden, at her congregation terrified and looking up to her for guidance.
“Perk up your ears, you dogs. There is nothing to worry. No single vixen can make this city’s administration wake up from its slumber. Just go back to your home streets and do what you are best at, making more litters. I assure you, that the promised day is near.”
Then came the comforting words, settling my palpitating heart,
“Most importantly, we have our NGOtiators in right places, to safeguard our interests. They will ensure that one day …
“very soon …
“the city comes to us”.