Maggie the Retriever
by Sharmila Roy Ghosal
(Dehradun, Uttarakhand, India)
Maggie, the golden retriever, stood near the window and looked outside. Today was her last day in the society, tomorrow she would be taken to the dog shelter, which would be her home until adopted by someone.
Maggie had been living with her old mistress in the first floor flat in a residential society ever since she could remember. Her mistress, whom Maggie loved a lot, was getting too old and had decided to shift to an old age home. She, however, wanted the best home for Maggie, and the owner of the shelter home had decided to see to it that Maggie’s adoptive parents were good.
Every day the dog walker, Robin, would take Maggi out for a walk in the evening, it was the best time of the day for her. Robin was kind and apart from walking would let Maggie play with the children by fetching ball. There was one baby in a stroller almost three years old, dear to Maggie, she was called Nisha. Every time she would see Maggie, the little one would laugh and clap her hands with joy. Robin being unwell had not been able to take Maggie out for a walk that day.
Maggie felt miserable. The fact that she would not be able to see Nisha was agonizing for her. It was getting dark, most of the children had gone home, only Maggie could see Nisha in the stroller and the maid. She wondered why the maid was not taking the little girl home. Something was wrong. Suddenly, Maggie saw the maid go towards the guard and engage him in conversation while a man in a white shirt and a black pant approached the stroller from the backside of the compound.
As he was about to pick up Nisha, Maggie started barking fiercely, the guard’s attention was drawn, he came running towards the stroller. In the meantime, the door of Maggie’s flat was opened by the maid who had come to do the utensils. Maggie jumped down the stairs and bounded towards the man barking loudly, who was in the act of fleeing. Maggie caught his trousers in her mouth.
A group of residents had gathered at the scene. Nisha’s parents who had just returned home from work were too shocked to speak. The maid and the man who was her friend were booked on charges of attempted kidnapping.
Nisha’s parents overcome with gratitude decided to adopt Maggie.*****