A grandfather and a stray mongrel compete with each other to find a truant ball. ⚽
Enjoy Episode 8 of your favourite morning read with your morning coffee! ☕ Santosh Bakaya’s ever popular Morning Meanderings Season 3 comes to you with weekly episodes that will brighten up your mornings and make your Thursdays extra special! ☀️📆 🎉
The honks of school buses merged with the early morning tweets of frolicsome birds. The birds on the telephone wire sat unfazed, lost in their own world, not interested in the goings on down below where an old man poked around in the wild shrubbery, with his walking stick, muttering expletives and also trying to ward off a stray mongrel. I saw the petrified look on an emaciated stray’s face, and he slunk away behind the bushes.
“Have you lost something? ”
The tea-seller whose morning had also begun, and who had started pottering around with packets of biscuits, cups, and kettle, hurled the question at him.
“Yesterday, my grandson had flung his new ball in the shrubbery, and today he blackmailed me with a big tantrum and a bigger pout, saying, ‘Daadu, if you don’t find the ball, I will not go to school’.”
“So, he didn’t go?” asked an inquisitive jogger.
“Don’t you see his face framed in the window? His bus is expected anytime now, but he is not getting ready for school. He is keeping an eye on me, trying to find out whether I am successful in the rescue mission.” The jogger beamed an understanding smile, and the old man continued hunting for the ball.
On the wall in front of me, a mother squirrel kept an eye on the goings-on, a baby- squirrel in tow. Time and again she turned back to chitter-chatter with her baby.
High up on a tree a mother monkey and her tiny baby were perched. The baby was tiny but very agile and spunky. On seeing that something was afoot, it got so excited that it almost slipped down the tree.
The alert mother had the presence of mind to grab its tail just in time, and yanked it back up but the little one did not like being saved. It made faces at its mom, showed his two rows of teeth but she looked away uninterested, his tail firmly in her grasp.
The stray dog had by now lost the petrified look and sniffed the possibility of an adventure. It bounded right into the shrubbery and returned with the runaway ball in its mouth. It sparkling eyes had the look of the champion of FIND THE BALL CONTEST!
On seeing the successful operation, the boy jumped out of the window, with a triumphant yell, and ran toward the dog, He pulled the ball from the dog’s mouth, and hugged it, patting it on the head. “Look Daadu, this little dog has done something that you could not do. Three cheers for him. You could not find my ball. He wins.” The stray whimpered in delight at the burst of appreciation. The baby squirrel and the baby monkey were both on the ground, excitement dripping from their eyes.
The grandfather glared at his grandson, but absolutely unaffected by his Daadu’s scowl, the boy ran into the house, clutching the ball tightly. A few minutes later, a school bus rambled up and stopped on the street in front of the house. The little boy, now dressed in his uniform with his school bag strapped on his shoulders, rushed out waving to his friends hanging out of the windows of the school bus. The ball was still in his hand in a tight grip. He looked back once, his eyes darting to find his canine friend.
The baby squirrel was standing on its haunches and watching this scene. Under the tree, a young mother was fondly watching her toddler take baby steps, and singing impromptu rhymes, while the child chortled in pure joy:
“See, the squirrel hop hop hop
Soon it will go up the tree top
hop hop hop
My Baby can hop too
hop hop hop…”
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