Muddy Paws of Negen Sherbotsky – K Hiten sai

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She made her way, Overlooking at the dusty pathway, swinging her long yet elegant ears in rhythmic movements; she held herself in the free evening breeze stoned by the edge of the road, bewildered.

‘Woof’ she made a groovy bark as an attempt to gather her energy to walk. She was old, but beautiful.
The dawn had fallen hard and she had been walking since the day was ripe. Her heart was swollen, not of the walking, but of the thought; the thought that had dragged the pity creature walking for the past half- decade, the thought that inspired her to make it to the end avoiding all the disdain she experienced.

She walked and walked until her gloomy eyes met the scene she wanted. The lake, the lake had dried up to half she remembered from her memory, the same lake where all her memories started and ended abruptly, and the same lake which had the pungent smell of her leaking tears.
Ambling her way against the strong breeze she walked along the water observing her own reflection. Her tears were too small to be observed in the shadow, but too hard to be forgotten.

The bench had been waiting at that very place it did from the past decade, ready to be running the sad memory of Negen. The stall which was visited for 52 weeks every year continued for four years. She wished she had counted them.
Making a lazy movement she struggled to get onto the rail of the bench. The legs of her folded as a habit into themselves making her body look like a rugby ball, a ball whose past was already thrown out of the barn.

She watched as the sun sank deep into the lake as dawn turned darker, So gloomy for the creature to be afraid. She wasn’t afraid. The only thing that scared her was death, which she knew by age that her life would end at some point.
Her brows had turned pale by the tears has fallen heavy on the eyes which were locked onto the lake which reflected the gloomy evening. Sitting all alone she realized the movement of time running away. Her eyes began to gain weight as sleep flourished her mind in peace with calm evening. In the heart of the cultural park lay a tiny creature on a wooden rail trying to fulfil its destiny.
Her mind made extreme peace with the moon’s glow as she remained stiff like a statue. Her eyes closed so hard as if it had been holding up a gallon of tears ready to be flooded.

‘Come on girl!’ she heard a whisper, almost to herself. Head of her’s tilted towards the panorama it could fetch. Eyes of her searching, searching hard to find the only destiny of its precious life. She knew somewhere deep that it was her own voice. The sun had sunk completely, so had her conscience, but the incident had sowed a seed of splenetic sorrow that had grew into a huge shrub inside of her.
She had fallen asleep, but her eyes moved vigorously as if it was having a dream; dream that she had witnessed already in her book of past.
The year was mid 2000’s and the month was September.

The summer had just taken a break and the warm winter winds flew past everything young Negen could get nose on, strangled in a tunnel all alone, by the side of the lake Juhian. A young bull headed cocker spaniel playing in its own world, dragging the dust away from its eyes lying parallel to the ground, with the world upside down.

By the side of the same lake a young, probably mid-twenties man walk past the tunnel whistling in the air rocking his own world with steady confidence. Alongside was a young women tangled in the arm of Marcus.

‘Look!’ he exclaimed, entangling himself from the grip of the girl. He couldn’t believe what his eyes met. Negen lay alas by the abrupt attention of Marcus for the first time. She stayed low from the ground, her grumpy ears tailed in the opposite direction with the tongue hanging of thirst.
‘She must have been abandoned by her group’ the girl spoke. Marcus had been completely fallen in love already with the beauty. The goofy creature measured a palm and a half and a quarter foot in height which added to its enchantment.

Marcus lowered himself, towards the ground where the lovely creature had been, roasted in mud and husk of the woods. He wore pants that matched the colour of Negen’s fur. Bright golden, silky textured that ran all along the pup.

‘Marcus, don’t you, in seven hells, think of getting him into our apartmen….’she fumbled, on seeing the scene that was took place. Marcus sat on the ground while Negen hopped into his lap. She couldn’t complete her words on seeing the heart-warming chemistry of both of them.

‘It’s not a him, Amanda, It’s a her!’ he whispered, trying not to disturb the calm entity of the fuzzy puppy. The happiness wasn’t
Picking it up with utter care, Marcus had made his mind not to abandon the love he just discovered. He walked along the crub of the lake towards the entrance. He knew he wouldn’t give it up for the world.

‘So what’s her name Marcus’ Amanda asked, pacing to catch up his speed.
He looked directly into the dog’s eyes, and as if it had spoken to his inner self he replies ‘Negen’
They walk away, as they felt a breeze of happiness.

Old Negen woke up in the dusky morning of the next day, which had been her routine. Lazily she snapped out of her sleepy state. With almost half of her eyes open she licked her paws, which gleamed in the fresh morning sunshine.
Sun started gaining height as she looked; her shadow grew darker and longer. Waggling her body she jumped down the rail watching the woods dancing to the tune of breeze.

Sheee tsheee tsuuu it sounded horrific to the old dog.
Tail of hers curled around her left leg showing her interest towards the world. Wagging her entire body with a long yawn was her unique wake up call. She started strolling her way towards the same way she had come the previous day, all alone in dismay and lost in hope.
Walking down the pavement she sniffed at a pole. The same pole she has visited a million times, but with company. She remembered her peeing at the same spot with Marcas a couple of years back. Tears made her face look even bigger as she broke up.
The journey she made throughout her life was filled with the same road, same people, same poles and the same park with the lake. Most of all those were all she was left with, she felt it that way.

She passed the poles she passed every day, took the same detour to the Margha’s home every day. Shared the same food every day, in her terms she was leading the life of Death itself. The only thing that motivated her to stay alive was the hope to meet Marcus one day, but that had dried up too. It has been five ears. Five years in which each second has not passed without the thought of Marcus.

Margha was the only acquaintance of Negen. It was a male husky, well built in height and manure. The only friend she knew outside her little world which included Amanda and Marcus. Margha in a way reminded him of Amanda, the way she took care of Negen, the way she played fetch with her, the way she scolded her for eating all the cookies and specially the way she played with Negen’s long ears throwing them in the air and cuddling them.
The sickened body was welcomed before it could be seen. The husky ran towards Negen with a piece of Meat loaf in his mouth. His tail wiggled at the same speed as his legs, he let go of the meat on the pavement and waited for Negan to have it. Negen bit a piece of it and wailed at Margha. They both shared a different bond, of different dimension and mostly of a different alliance that involved brotherly harmony.

’Woorff’ he barked at her, an attempt to make her eat the rest. He knew he would be unsuccessful, just like every day. Slowly he tried hard. He begun to bite his ear and pushed her head with his. He was unsuccessful there too.
Negen licked him as a token of thank and walked towards the abrupt end of the road where a left emerged.

‘Woof! Woof! Woof! Margha shouted making a string of rapid excited noise at the elderly creature. He ran around her in circular movements as if the barks meant ‘Look Negen! Look at me go Round and round like a swing’.
She did not stop. Instead she made a lazy bark ‘Woorf’ which meant ‘I am alright bud, see you later’ to him.

Margha stood still, the speed of wagging decreased gradually as Negen walked farther. She wasn’t seen after she took a left towards the bridge.
She felt a sudden pain in the paw, of all the walking. Standing by the entrance of the bridge she limbed herself licking her painful paw with her dried up tongue. The tongue of hers drew no saliva as she was old and drained; she struggled by the edge of the bridge in order to taste the warm water.
The water flow was normal, at least for her. All she could see was her reflection and in the reflection of her own face she saw Marcus, nothing but Marcus Sherbotsky

‘Is it really necessary to cut off its tail’ Marcus asked Amanda.
Six months had passed and Negen had passed through phase of potty-training, which happens to be the worst phase of every dog’s life. She passed majority of time playing with Amanda sitting under the cuddling fingers of Marcus. She had no Idea about the convo, all she cared was Marcus’s hand on her head, grooming.
‘Yea, Mark every cocker spaniel needs to be done with its tail’. Negen turns towards Amanda as if she understood what she spoke then returned back to her cuddled position slipping into his lap deeper.
‘I read its painful Amanda, how can we?’ he patted, bolting his hands harder. He would never let anything happen to her, not to his knowledge.
‘What should be done must be done, it’s up to you mark’ she said
‘Okay! I’ll Go to the veteran’ he forced himself along with Negen out of the house. Marcus knew he would never take him to the veteran. Not that day.
Both of them walked in the same park, Sat on the same bench where the older Negen rested now, she would play fetch all day long even if she was tired. Being with Marcus filled her with more positivity than anything else in the world and Amanda added more flavour to her life.
‘I cannot believe you missed the appointment’ Amanda shouted, she was disappointed, not because Negen’s tail was still there but because Marcus did not keep his words.
‘I am sorry mate, just couldn’t do it’ he sighed
‘It’s just a dog Mark why are you making a big deal out of it, take it easy’ she spoke in outrage.
‘Firstly it’s a ‘she’ not an ‘it’, secondly the dog you are referring to is Negen Scherbotsky and finally she is family and has the same part as you and me in the house understand!’

Negen made a wild bark, trying to hold up the fire in the situation between them.
Amanda stood taken back by the reply of her husband.
She was proud rather than angry on how her husband has reacted. Now she had undoubtedly gained the confidence that Marcus is going to make a better father out of himself.
Thanks Negen, Negen Scherbotsky

Negen had reached the jogging spot of Marcus and Amanda. The place where Negen would sit all day long until the sun sunk, He would then return to the park searching for Marcus.
Under the tree was her place in the new arena of sorrow. She watched each and very jogger and child walking in the area till she was tired; Tired of hopelessness.

The morning fog has made her golden fur wet. The fog reminded her of the first bath she had with Marcus.
The warm fuzzy feeling of water running from his ears, marcus’s fingers massaging deep into the fur filled with love and affection. Amanda aiding him with soap and scrub; and when they were finished Negen would waggle away the water on her body showering droplets onto the couple, who would laugh along and curse ‘Bad girl!’ in air which meant ‘Do it again’ to her.
He remembered how happy their life, how happy she was with them how they cared for her so much how they she got separated from them and most of all how she had been living without her owner.

She still remembers it like yesterday. The day that she would never dream of yet it haunts her in sleep, the day when the lightning struck hard on the city and a great flood occurred, a disaster never to be seen in history.
But as they say history leaves us with broken pieces that can never fit in the right place.
Negen had been five years then, on the fine day where the bolts were ripping the grounds apart and rain was flooding the streets of the city, the family had set themselves a trip to the neighbouring city for enjoyment. No one knew it would end up abrupt.

Negen sat in the back seat, tight and safe, sealed from four sides. Marcus was the one in the driver’s seat and Amanda beside him. The rains and thunder was so loud that it scared Negen. She looked out of the window which had running water just like tears of older Negen.
They had reached the bridge until when a sudden outbreak of water raced through the canal. They knew the impact would be hard, but not hard enough.
The water hit the car throwing it away in the canal with broken window glasses. Marcus struggled in the water untying the belt knot of Amanda. The water was increasing at a higher pace than they had thought. Marcus turned back to hold Negen, but he was too late.
She had been carried away by the flood. He shouted ‘Negen! Negen! Where are you? Negen!
But it was too late.

Negeeeeen! He shouted in dismal
His tears were not visible in rain but his cry was.
It has been five painful years, felt as five freaking centuries with the absence of Marcus and Amanda. Under the shade of the banyan tree laid the sickened corpse of Negen, sniffing in its own stinky smell of sadness.
People started staring, just like every day; they were never damned about it, same like each day.
Sun took its highest position as the air blew humid; the shades of the leaves falling directly onto the tears of Negen giving them a candid blush on hideous eyes of hers.

After the flood Negen was found drop dead on the bank of the canal completely injured. Her left back leg pierced with pieces of glass making her unworkable for weeks. But that was not her sorrow was, she was separated from Marcus, most of all she was estranged from her life. All the joy of hers vanished with a wash.
It was margha who first found her, punctuated in the leg drowned in the muddy water of the flood remains and almost in the most disgusting situation possible. For a moment margha thought she was dead, it went near the disgusted body which was mumbling in pain.
‘Woof!’ he made a sound, it was a pup then which couldn’t offer more. Licking her leg she woke her up.
Shaken by the incident, Negen would bark and only bark for the next few days. She wouldn’t take a bone from Margha or a biscuit from god, all her heart said was to meet Marcus, meet her own life.

And for the past five years it has been the same routine for the three limbed creature. In the mornings the shade of the banyan tree served the place of warm Marcus’s lap and the evenings were filled with the Amanda’s love which was felt like cool breeze in the park.
By the time Negen opened its wet eyes, the sun was gone almost. It realized the time, it could not keep it though.
Dusting through the husk of the time it made its way to the park, the same park of sorrow. Following her own paw prints that she left from the past years she limbed against the wind through the disinterested world.

Margha would only be found in the mornings as it left with its owner to a walk when Negen left for the park. She tootled in the pathway, made a pee and moved forward. She felt different that present day; Bad kind of different.
Her walking had been gradually loosened throughout the years, so as her energy. The zest for finding her destiny stood alive of all her characteristics.

She looked up at the sky as if god had called her name. It was just a plane she realized. Licked her paw and she moved. That was all she knew.
She had had enough, enough patience, enough time, and definitely enough wait. It took an extra hour for her to reach the bench, drenched in exhaust and stressed in force. She looked at the sky again, this time there was no plane or a bird there. It was time.
The lord had called finally. It took him five years to take away the life of the vivid creature. She couldn’t feel the breeze, the tears, and the warm pain in her heart, the love Margha had for her. Everything fell abrupt.
She jumped out of the rail, almost falling down; she managed to make a successful walk towards the bank of the lake. She wanted to end her thirst once and for all.

Limping onto the concrete slide she struggled her way near the water. Her lips met the cool water of the lake, tongue bowled inwards drawing water into her throat, gulping small amounts of air along each sip, it drank and only drank.
‘Negen’ she heard a whisper, ears branched, head still. It was hallucinating just like the other day, she thought.
‘Negen’ she heard again, her head turned backwards with water dripping from the fine fur of her mouth. Her sight was ambiguous of all the pain and tears. She shook herself.

Marcus was finally there, he stood by the end of the rail holding a cane, all alone in nothing but tears and happiness.
Negen believed for a moment that she was dead, it prayed to all the gods for some extra time. She had finally met him; her life’s destiny. Marcus!
‘Marcus! Marcus! Her heart sounded. With all the remaining energy she jumped on the railing onto the single legged guy. She completely threw herself on him. Tail of hers wagging, it had been held up for a long time now.
Tears of joy filled both of their eyes as they were on the ground. Eyes of hers locked on his, as if they would abandon him again; But not this time.

Marcus sobbed like a boy who found his long-lost toy. With tears dwelling up against his cheeks he kissed Negen. Negen mourned in happiness as she felt his warm finger brushing her skin after a long time.
She could have died in the lap of Marcus, but his love increased her age.
He got up with the cane, the cane that helped him walk. On the same day of the flood five years back, Marcus had lost his leg as it punctured though the raw metal of the car. They had to amputate his limb. And in the pain he was calling out for Negen.

He looked at Negen who was limping too. He smiled she was still alive.
Behind the bench was a little girl, playing in the sand castle just like Negen did ten years ago. Marcus and Negen walked towards the girl.
Marcus said, ‘It’s a her, Negen!,it’s a her’ It was his daughter he was referring to, his five year old daughter whom he bought to the park without missing a day, the difference was, they were on the wrong side of the park.
He looked deeply into Negen’s eyes and said again ‘You know her name Negen?’ ‘She is Negen Scherbotsky too’
This time she understood what the human said, it wanted to live.

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