The Stray

Syed Rashid Munir │srmunir@gmail.com

Memory is a fickle thing. One second you think you can recall, and the next you’re absolutely dazed and confused.

But, this one I remember.

It’s from a long, long time ago.

We used to live in the capital in those days.

The street we lived on was on elevated ground. And just beyond the other side of the street, there was a slope that led downwards to an outgrowth of sorts.

One hot summer day, after lunch, I must’ve sneaked out of the house (I say so because I don’t actually remember sneaking out, but can only recall returning back home, leading to the very reasonable possibility that I must’ve, indeed, sneaked out in the first place). And by sneaking out, I mean just stepping out of the gate and walking across to the other side of the road. It was a big deal for a two-year old: just me, on my own, ready to face the world.

My first taste of freedom. I was hypnotized by it, just floating around in its mesmerizing haze. Life, in that instant, was good.

Once on the other side, standing on the edge of that slope, about 20 feet away, I saw a stray dog lurking down below. Like almost everything at that age, it was fascinating; every new sight, every new smell, and every new feeling had to be explored. Now, on any other day, I would’ve just stood there and lurked around a bit myself, but this was no ordinary day. I was feeling invincible.

So, I picked up a stone, and threw it at the stray. It landed inches from its feet.

Nothing. The dog didn’t even budge. Continue reading “The Stray”