Compassion unlimited

I did not have the courage to have a pup at home by risking domestic harmony.

My wife, presuming she has uttered the last word  on the subject, said  ‘it is either me or dog.’ But  she  least expected the response `dog’ in chorus.

Her conflict with canines, put succinctly in her own words, ‘I hate dogs roaming around in my kitchen or bedroom and their distinct smell is nauseating,’ could not be dismissed lightly.  

On the contrary, my daughter dotes on any stray animal she sees. I did not have the courage to fulfil her desire to have a pup at home by risking domestic harmony. As a consolation, I bought her a pair of Love Birds. To our joy they had four offsprings. But soon, the male bird managed to escape leaving the responsibility of bringing up the little ones solely to the mother. It was astonishing to watch the mother tirelessly feed the four gluttons with an unending appetite.

One day we were forced to let go the mother too when she surprisingly tried to kill one of the little ones. 

My daughter, however, continued to long for a pet which she could cuddle. This made me buy her a pair of cute little rabbits.  Delighted, she named them Eddy and Bella.  When, for reasons unknown, Eddy died just after two days, she was inconsolable. Bella became the sole point of attraction to all of us, my wife included. In spite of being dumb, responding only to food, she enthralled us through her cuteness and antics. Her posture, standing on the hind legs with the front legs held like saying namaste whenever we were at the dining table, was a sight to watch.

After she had spent about three years with us I received my transfer order from Mumbai to Bangalore. While we decided to travel by car for the birds sake, bringing Bella also in the car on a 1000 km drive, with a stop over  as we had planned, was unthinkable. After much convincing my daughter accepted that Bella will be happier in the company of other rabbits. 

Her acceptance to part with Bella was subject to she approving the place chosen. So one Sunday we set out to the place suggested by a colleague where they already had many rabbits. There, we were happy to see many healthy rabbits freely roaming around. With a heavy heart my daughter released our pet to join her tribe.  

Bella stayed away from the rest for some time before hopping on to join the crowd to attack the food deposited in a corner. Few minutes later it was impossible to identify her in the group, thereby ending all our bonding. 

On our way back I could not help recollecting the scene from the movie ‘Life of Pi’ where the hero feels deeply hurt by the tiger escaping into the forest without even paying him a glance.

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