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Sandy's Misery 

A Children's Story -
by Malavika Roy Singh

 “Why do we have to do everything by ourselves?” whined Sandy. She was a pale brown dog and was rummaging filth, in search of food.

“Why can’t we live like those humans?” she asked Bushy, a white spaniel. 

“Well that’s the way our lives are planned buddy”. Bushy replied, without looking up.

“Oh, but why?”

Everyday Sandy and Bushy came to hunt for scraps of food in the waste bins. And Sandy hated the sight and stench that arose from egg shells, rotten eggs, leftover food spillages, fruits, vegetable peels, meat, chicken bones and liver. 

“I hate this dog life, where I have to sniff rotten things and plunge into waste every morning. I don’t like it at all.”

“Oh come on! What do you want, a chauffeur driven car with loads of food?”

Sandy’s eyes glistened in excitement. “Can that happen to us?”

“No” Bushy declared solemnly. “And now get going. We have loads of other work today.”

“Like what? I thought I’ll eat and sleep along the pavement. I’ve not slept last night. Those hooligans in the name of humans drove and nearly killed me last night and since then I just stayed awake in fear.”

Bushy muttered, “I know these humans don’t know how to control themselves and they have the nerve to drive silly gadgets that look a bigger version of Cuba”.

Cuba was a ferocious looking Doberman, who lived opposite the road, in a house. He belonged to a hefty looking man who walked him every morning. 

“Oh yes, not to forget him. I don’t mind when humans trouble, at least they can be scared, but Cuba, he’s insane and uncanine. My days are mostly spent in misery thinking about him all the time. I hate when he conspires with other domestic dogs to hit on us. It’s terrible.” Sandy paused to breathe and then continued again. 

“I hate him. The other day he bared all his teeth at me as if he was going to rip me apart.”

“And why was that?” Bushy asked tearing an intact part of ham.

“Because he felt I shouldn’t be where he was. Imagine first he in was my area and then was showing me attitude. Heights of guts I must say! Sometimes, I pity them; they’re just so ignorant and don’t learn anything in life or rather from us.”

“Oh don’t bother about those high class canines. They live in posh places, get everything under their nose, eat and sleep with the best looking things. What will they know about our lives? For them, we are the lower class, but do we care? No, so just relax and ignore him.”

“How could I ignore him, when all he does is irritate me? He knows I can’t fight back and he’s taking advantage of that.”

“Don’t react on his face, but wait for the right time. He is doing this so that he can get rid of us” replied Bushy. “And we know he can. With those teeth, he can transform us into bits and pieces.”

Sandy knew it was true, but she wanted justice. She wanted to get into a fight with Cuba badly.

She frowned as she threw across the remains of food and shrugged herself of the dust and filth. “Are you done?”

“Yes, I am. C’mon let’s go and see what can be done to your solution.”

“You mean the Cuba solution?”

“What else? I was thinking of trying one trick, it can’t get wrong.”

“I thought you had work?”

“This is work too. Isn’t it? And Bushy winked at Sandy.

They left wagging their tails in excitement. Sandy liked Bushy’s place. It was at the far end of the road, where lay a patch of grassland with a sandy area in a corner. There were no sources of disturbances here and it was a place where all sorts of tricks and creative punching techniques could be thought of. 

Sandy dreamt about Cuba getting all beaten up.

“Stop dreaming and see your rival from here”, Bushy spoke hoarsely. Unlike Sandy he had a voice that sounded as if he had cough.

But Sandy had a sweet voice and why not, she was a girl.

“How I hate him!” she said, grinding her teeth in revenge.

From a distance they could see Cuba playing with his master and two other people. They were playing with a red ball. 

Sighing, Sandy said, “I don’t even have a ball or anybody to play with, except for last week, when a couple of children played with me and gave me an ice cream to lick. It was the nicest thing that I tried in a longtime.”

“Oh great, now it is whining for the ball?” jeered Bushy. “You can never get your priorities straightened. At one point, you criticize dogs like Cuba and then you want ball and everything nice like those silly domestic dogs!”

Sandy was about to revolt when suddenly, her back hit something hard. 

“Ouch”, she cried wincing in pain. She turned around, but Bushy had already jumped behind her. 

“How dare you do that to her?” he yelled. 

A towering figure rose and Sandy yelped in fright. It was Cuba.   

“Oh my, did I hurt your girlfriend Bushy baby?” said Cuba, in his rough voice.

“Yes, you did and you will pay for it soon”, warned Bushy as he protected Sandy behind him.

“Oh my, how will it be? Will you send those clumsy looking weaklings, whom you rescued from my grip the other day? Oh well, I am scared now” and he mocked Bushy by doing a fainting act. 

“So tell me the day, I will come for sure.”

“You will know soon”, said Bushy calmly. 

“I will wait, but if you lose then see me rip you apart and yeah that girlfriend of yours too”, and he winked at Sandy before he left with the ball in his mouth.

Sandy was trembling all over.

“Why did you say soon? We haven’t planned anything! And by the way, I’m not your girlfriend.”

Bushy turned and shook his head, “I know. Now let me just call my friends, the supposed weaklings to our macho figure, Cuba and he’ll see how wrong he was.”

Bushy whistled and immediately, two rough looking street dogs joined in. When Sandy saw them, she thought Cuba was right, they were brown and pale yellow colored weaklings and their rib cage protruded nicely over their backs. They were indeed the poor, malnourished dogs, whom the dog catchers would simply catch and throw away. 

They soon got to work, but Sandy did not understand much of it.

“So when will you be able to execute the first step?” asked Bushy.

“Tonight”, they said together.

Sandy stared from Bushy to the faces of those two gravely sick looking dogs. “How on earth will they do it?” she thought aloud in her mind.

Bushy had seen them off, when he returned to Sandy.

“Off you go then. Your problem will be dealt tomorrow morning, without anybody seen or heard.”

“You mean even if Cuba is taught a lesson, he wouldn’t know as to who did it?”

“Not exactly!”

Sandy was still unsure about the strength of the plan, but she did not speak ill about it. She waved him and got back to her place, which was along the pavement of the road.

Throughout night, she stared into blackness, trying to listen to the sounds that told her that life existed. Be it the zooming, swishing cars, blaring horns, footsteps of pedestrians, lights going on and off, they all added to the life around Sandy. 

When she woke up, the sun had not risen. She quickly stretched, yawned and moved around to get her body into some movement, maybe because it might be required today, but she hoped not.

She quickly went to have her breakfast of the leftover food. She was happy to get a slice of pizza with chicken and ham toppings. She wished every day was Sunday as the previous nights always provided better quality of leftovers from household. She quickly rummaged and found some pieces of chicken, still juicy with the gravy around and bones and lots of breads disposed neatly in cardboard boxes. She dragged the entire box, into which she had put the edible crumbs and remnants of her food. Since Bushy was doing so much, she thought he deserved Sunday food too.

“Oh my, they had some party!” exclaimed Bushy, diving in.

“Instead of throwing it into the bins, wouldn’t it be nice, if they simply gave it to us directly rather than throwing it in that stinky bin. At least, then we’ll not have to smell the horrible stench” added Sandy.

But Bushy was not listening, any food to him was welcome and if the food was of that quality, he wouldn’t mind rummaging any number of bins. He chomped and ate hungrily, making no remark.

The two dogs, Bushy’s partners in crime, joined in. They quickly filled in Bushy about the updates of the case.

“We have done it. The step number one is executed and so is number two”, the pale yellow dog replied.

“Thanks Burly!”

“Burly? But you’re not at all burly”, Sandy said looking surprised.

“Well I was when I was named.”

“Anyway, what steps are you talking?”

“I’ll explain later”, he interrupted getting up and beckoning her to be ready.

“Will we have to fight?” she asked looking scared.

“Let’s see, hope not”.

“But what are we going to do 

“We still are left with the last and the most important step.”

She arched her eyebrows in question.

“Well, this is to get Cuba caught by human dog catchers.”

Sandy’s eyes widened in surprise and horror. “What if we get caught?”

“No we won’t.”

And Bushy quickly told others to hurry and they went to the road where Cuba went for a walk every morning. Today they hid themselves behind trees that lined along the walking pavement and waited with baited breath. The van by dog catchers came at exactly 

“Here he comes!” whispered Bushy’s henchmen. Sandy peeped behind a tree to see Cuba sniffing and moving 

“Hey, where is his master? He’s with someone else?” said Sandy, sounding 

“Yeah, on Mondays, he goes with his master’s servant”, explained Bushy.

They walked past till they were near the end of road. They made a turn into the concrete, deserted road.  Bushy’s friends crept in slowly.

To be continued here