“I think he is cheating with us..”
“Don’t talk like a human, Cissy. Uncle Messer has never lied in his life.”
“Don’t call me human please”
“Then stop barking mad”
“I am just worried about my child, thats all.”
Cissy wiped a tear off her face by her front paw before turning and going back in to under the cupboard which lay abandoned behind motor garage run by Human Fat Ass(“Thats what his friends call him when he is not looking”, Rocky told cissy once)
Rocky stood still staring at lone figure of Woodstocky standing guard in front of “The Alwa’s” gate. Woodstocy too was lost in thoughts. The rain has affected him less than the Rocky Waggle’s family but still he too suffered a considerable amount. But it was nothing as compared to Rocky’s fate. Cissy chose the same month for birth of three children (Welly,Neil and Vivi) All of them were cute and bore marks around their paws which gave a feel that they are wearing white socks.
“Colors never mattered”, Rocky had announced proudly,”Waggles are not known for their looks, are they?”.
He was true. Waggle family was well known in Dog community or say all wild community for their bravery and wisdom. Rocky has proved to be worthy of this honour and never ever gave anyone chance to question it. But today was different. Today, it was question of life and death of a child.
“Poor Welly”, Uncle Messer sighed(he was a doctor),”she is so young and delicate”.
“What do you mean, sir?”, Rocky’s voice was quivering.
“Rocky, Rocky! This rain, the food crisis had affected this child and as a result she full of fever”. Uncle Messer adjusted his tail and sighed again.
“How much time she have, sir?”,Cissy asked in a voice which shook Uncle to tears. He just tried to cover his wet eye edges.He picked up his bag in his mouth and went to door. He turned his head before leaving, glanced at sleeping Welly over his sholder once and said, “48 Hours at max”.
No one bothered to close the door behind him. When Neil and Vivi returned from market, they found Cissy and Rocky at same places Uncle Messer had left them. Cissy was little more wet. Neil tried asking what happened but Vivi shooed him out of home and followed. When they were out of earshot of dad, she whispered to Neil,”Don’t ask anything, Neil. Welly is dying.”
“What is dying?”, Neil was looking at his front nails,”Seems a bad thing, I have never seen dad so sad.”
“It must be, I just overheard Stocky uncle speaking to Stock aunty yesterday. He was saying Welly is dying, whatever it means, aunty cried for few minutes.”
Neil looked up at Vivi,”May be it means she will go and never come back. What can be more bad than this?”
Vivi shrugged and tried to put her tail under her body to keep it warm.
“Lets get in, its cold here”, she said and Neil obeyed.
“Just few paces more dear Welly, just few.”, Rocky helped her to get on to her feet. They were walking from two hours and in meantime Welly has fallen a number of times, helped by her Dad on feet everytime she fell.
“Where…..are……w…we…g..g..goi…ng?”, Welly thought sooner the walk ends, she will be able to sleep peacefully. It was weird, in the evening, Dad just asked if she fancy a walk with him and she agreed. Anyway she was feeling a bit weak from afternoon.
“A walk through grounds would be good for your health”, Cessy assured her with trembling voice.
“I don’t know but something is wrong with mum”, Welly told Rocky as they started walking towards the hill. But it felt a long long ago she left mum and grave looking Neil and Vivi. Funny, she thought, how come they didn’t bother dad for coming with us?
“Lets rest in the soil there, Welly, you will will feel better.”, Rocky was determinedly looking at anywhere but Welly. They sat on the soil. Few minutes passed in silence. Welly broke it with a soft voice,”Is it dark already dad?”. Now Rocky turned to his daughter as his heart gave a jolt at this.
“N…Yes dear, a little. Are you feeling okey?”
“Yeah dad, its…just becoming little dark….I can’t see properly.”
Rocky knew what it meant. His daughter was being silently dragged towards death. Her eyes were only half open. Her breath slow and steady.
“I feel like sleeping, dad.”
“Go ahead, dear, I am here”, he said shortly.
Welly curled up for sleeping. Rocky’s eyes filled with tears as he looked at her. Nothing is more painful for a dog than watching his own daughter die in front of his eyes. He cried silently, she even don’t know what the word death means. He watched her breath slow down, her heart slow down from her skin over the bones. Her body stopped moving slowly and he got up and walked few paces towards hill.
“Enigmoo”, he called in cracking voice. Someone ran towards him, black with tongue hanging out he asked,”Is she…? In sleep…? Oh my…? let me see….”.
Enigmoo ran towards Welly and checked her for signs of life. “Gone”, he said shortly. “Its better you brought her up here, Rocky. Otherwise her body could have caused infection to other children. Its for everyones good you know.” He patted on head of Rocky who was stiff like a pole.
“Go home and look after wife and others, Rocks, they need you there. GO!”, Enigmoo steered Rocky away. “Life and death is not in our hands, Rocks, we have to face it.”
Somewhere right to him in dark, Rocky nodded.
His eyes were dry as his lips and throat. Neil and Vivi were standing outside home absentmindedly staring at moon who had just risen over the hill Rocky just came from.