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Of Dogs and Donkeys

I was lazily strolling in my neighborhood one fine morning when I heard high pitched barks of a dog, followed by rounds of applause, in the distance. Curious, I weaved my way through the narrow alleys towards the sounds and came upon a square where a red Labrador, flanked by two Poodles, on a platform, was barking into a microphone, surrounded by a mass of myriad creatures – horses, cows, cats, chickens, pigeons, crows, snakes, rats and so on.


‘Freedom is our birthright, my dear people, and we shall fight on till it’s granted upon us. Support us, my brothers and sisters, and you will see what paradise we will make of our Barbarossa. There will be green grass all year round for the grazers, meat in abundance for the carnivores, fresh milk for the children and juice for the old. Follow us and you shall live to feast on the fruits of Democracy,’ the Labrador spoke, while the Poodles, with huge smiles on their faces, crossed and uncrossed their legs. And, the gathered ‘society’ cheered, ‘Quack Quack! Moo Moo! Coo Coo! Baaah Baaah! Waah Waah Waah!…’

Interested, I crept to one corner of the ‘congregation’ and sat down to observe the spectacle.

‘Hey, you look like new here. Are you?’ somebody nudged me from behind.

‘Sort of,’ I said and turned my head to find a black Mastiff accompanied by two Chihuahuas.

‘In that case, what you are hearing here today is a load of shit, my dear friend. That dog you see up there in the podium is a son of a bitch disguised as a saint of our Barbarossa. Take care, my dear friend, do not be coaxed by his slippery words,’ the Mastiff said and he patted my shoulders.

‘Instead, if you wish to see our Barbarossa prosper, join us,’ he urged while one of the Chihuahuas slipped a Business Card into my pocket.

‘Sure, sure, my dear friend,’ I smiled and replied. Then I turned around to hear more of what the Labrador had to say and watch more of what the Poodles had to show.

Just then, someone in the crowd threw a large ripe tomato at the Labrador which hit him right on the nose. As the Labrador staggered and his aides rushed to hold him, the Poodles shrieked and collapsed. Then chaos!

Anticipating violence and being a peace-loving creature by nature (Hee-haw!), I quickly got up and made my move towards a nearby alley with the intention of sneaking out of there but somebody caught me by my leg and shouted on top his voice, ‘It’s HIM! It’s this Donkey who threw the tomato!!!’

Before I could utter a word of denial, punches and kicks were all over my face and body. The last thing I remember, before passing out, is the dear friend, Mastiff, spitting on my face and saying ‘What a dumb, cowardly Ass.’

When I came to my senses, I found myself flat in a gutter, bloodied and bruised.

As I recollected how I ended up in the gutter, I observed the sky above. It was a deep blue with patches of drifting cumulus clouds. It seemed as if I was looking down, from heavens above, at an ocean with drifting cruise ships and it was so so beautiful, my dear friend, that I forgot my creaking bones and those Poodles for a long long time. The sky that day was indeed the prettiest thing one could ever see and I pity you, my dear friend, for not being there to see it. You missed it, my dear friend, you missed it. Hee-haw!

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