It was the first cold winter evening and the man who operated the tea-stall was just about to pack up and leave. There was a very cool breeze and he shivered slightly, tucking his shawl around him. As he was winding up and closing all the jars full of sweets and biscuits he could feel someone behind him so he turned around. Two pairs of brown eyes were looking up at him, waiting patiently for their daily treats. He opened the biscuit jar and took out eight of them and heard two excited barks. Smiling, he tossed one to the brown one and one to the black one and fed them till the biscuits got over. He knew this wouldn’t fill their tummy but it was all he could afford to give them and felt guilty when they sat in front of his stall and looked at him with such adoration. He thought about how he would go back to his small but warm bed and they would have to sleep out in the cold but what could he do? He was poor and he had his own children to think about, he had three kids who were all in their teens. Looking at the dogs sitting in front of him and watching him with love, he thought about the last time his kids had looked at him like that. He couldn’t…
There were newspapers kept in his locked cupboard and he thought that they would keep them at least a little warm. So, he unlocked his cupboard, took them out and spread a thick although a narrow patch of newspaper on the pavement beside his stall’s tarp. The dogs were looking at him with confusion, they couldn’t understand what he was doing. He called them and pointed to the newspapers and they just barked excitedly, they thought he was playing a game. He sighed and tried to coax them into sitting on it again but they just kept wagging their tails and barking excitedly. He finally got an idea! Taking out two biscuits from the jar, he placed them on the newspapers and the dogs got even more excited and ran to eat them. After finishing the biscuits they sat down near the front of the stall again and the man sighed to himself. He tried at least.
It was getting darker and he needed to get home before sundown so he unlocked his bicycle and bidding goodbye to the dogs, he set off. The dogs watched him leave, wagging their tails at top speed till they couldn’t see him anymore. The man hoped for the best as he was pedaled home because it was getting colder by the minute. On reaching home, his wife offered him a hot cup of tea and some dinner. His children were nowhere to be seen and when he asked about their whereabouts, his wife just shrugged and told him that they must have gone to their friends’ houses. He lay down, tensed, about his children and the dogs but sleep followed quickly because the day had been exhausting. When he awoke, it was 4 in the morning. He looked around the small room and saw all three of his children on the bed under covers and his wife beside him, still asleep. Rising quietly, he smiled and said a short prayer for the well-being of his family. He quickly changed and left for work on his bicycle.
When he reached his tea-stall, the sight that awaited him made his insides go warm. The dogs were asleep on the newspaper, cuddled together to keep warm. He started his daily opening ritual which woke them up and their tails thumping the ground while they yawned brought a smile to his face. They stood up and he fed them two biscuits each after which they ran off excitedly. Every evening thereafter, the man set up newspapers for them beside his stall and they would sleep peacefully. One day, he asked his wife for some old sweaters of his children which he brought for the dogs to sleep on. The dogs kept watch on his stall for him every night and he fed them biscuits and played with them every day.
All I want for christmas is for people to show a little kindness to street dogs. This might be a fictional account but I know of so many such wonderful people who don’t have much but share whatever little they have happily. There has been a rise in crimes against street dogs in the past few months and it breaks my heart to watch videos of them getting thrown off roofs or beaten up for no reason. If people argue that dogs are aggressive and untrustworthy, I have only one thing to say to them – All dogs are loving creatures, if they don’t like you then you need to think about what you’re doing wrong because they don’t get angry for no reason. I think all the dog lovers and even most of the people who aren’t comfortabe with animals around would agree.
Let’s give this small present to all street dogs, just a little kindness.