One moment they were running around the barren field, and the next they were in a deep pit! Falling on top of each other, it was quite a shock and they struggled to get back on their feet. With the light already fading, it seemed even darker here. While they kept snapping at each other for putting each other in this position, they suddenly heard the wailing sound of a child looking for its parents.

“Sounds like yet another lost child” said Julie sympathetically.

“I wonder why they have children, if they are going to abandon it. Look at you now, poor thing – no idea how to take care of yourself in this big bad world!” said the boy, who called himself Rocky.

“What do you mean ‘abandoned’?” snapped Julie. “Of course I wasn’t abandoned, they just lost me. Am sure my dad will soon find me and take me home!”

“Yeah well, keep dreaming”.

“Can’t hear that child anymore. Are we going to spend the rest of the night here or what?” asked Rocky, dragging Julie back to their predicament.

“Of course we have to get out of here! It will be very cold in the night. I can already feel some chill” shivered Julie.

“Oh yeah! I forgot you have never faced the night outside of your home. I suppose you wouldn’t want to get yourself dirty. Let me start heaping the mud so that ‘my lady’ can jump out” sneered Rocky.

“Excuse me?  I said ‘we’ have to get out, which means ‘I’ play an equal role in getting ‘us’ out”.

As they started digging, they heard a woman scream, followed by a man’s evil laughter and sounds of rushing feet.

Julie shivered and wondered how could people be so cruel to each other? Rocky pointed out the reality of life on the streets, and how she better steel herself for this and worse.

Julie’s limbs started hurting, and she stealthily dug a little slower, lest he notices her struggle. All of a sudden they heard a woman scream “my purse” while a bike sped away. The scream shook her, and she again wondered if there is no end to the cruelties that humans inflict on each other!

“And that is exactly why I vehemently disapprove of the saying ‘a dog’s life’” said Rocky with some heat. “When your life is anyway full of struggles and unpleasantness, why call it dog’s life? I say, call it ‘human life’ or just ‘life’ since anyway they worry only about themselves and never really care about us. If only they hadn’t invaded into our territory, domesticated us, and then abandoned us to fend for ourselves, we would have been a happy troop deep in the forest!” So saying he nudged Julie out of the ditch and followed her out. “Oh, finally you said something sensible and nice!” So saying Julie giggled, wiggled her tail and pulled him into yet another game of run and catch!

*****

Written by Meenakshi Anand

Meenakshi Anand’s earlier work as report writer made her realize how much she loves putting her thoughts into words. Since her childhood, a chance phrase, a sight, anything for that matter would trigger a story and she always wondered what medium would help her realize those stories. Now she knows!