He barked at me. Don’t scratch your head. I am not using any metaphor. My brother, Shaurya, literally barked at me. I asked him repeatedly to cut it out, but he kept on barking. I don’t know what new game he had picked up on TikTok or any other social media platform, but it wasn’t funny. If I didn’t leave now, I’d be late for work.
“I have told you not to drive my car, but you just don’t listen. Stop barking and point me to my car keys.” I was furious. How hard it was to obey your elder sister? I began slipping my feet in my navy blue heels. With my handbag on my shoulder, I was ready to leave for work. If Shaurya would just get me my car keys, I thought.
“Shaurya….” I turned around to see him gone. “You better come back with the key or I am going to kill you?”
“Oh, don’t bother! He barked something about this house being a freak show, and that his sister being a pain in his a**, yet again. And then he stomped off to the car,” my dog, Coco said and began wagging his tail enthusiastically.
“Coco, I don’t have time to play….. wait! Did you just talk to me?” With my eyes fixed on Coco, I, slowly, began taking backward steps. My Coco just spoke to me, and my brother barked at me. Coco was still staring at me with his puppy eyes.
“I have always been talking to you. You just never listen. This is Pedigree time,” Coco said to me. His eyes were searching my hands, I believe, for pedigree1. There was always a logical explanation for everything. What could fit in this scenario, I wonder?
“Aha! Got it! Why didn’t I think of it before? It’s just a dream.” I clapped my hands in excitement.
Coco wobbled his head, as if trying to comprehend the meaning of my action, and, to my dismay, spoke again, “This is not a dream. And if it is, I am bound to die famished.” He sounded irritated. Before I could react, he added, “And Mishty, you have a terrible bark.”
“I am not barking. Humans talk and dogs bark. That’s why, you should know that THIS is not normal,” I snapped.
“You think this is abnormal?” sarcasm dripped from his every word. Shaking his head, he said, “Step outside, Milady,” I swear he almost smirked. Wow!’Milady,’ now he speaks like he watches The Crown. He walked toward the door, turned around to look at me, and sighed, “Coming?”
As spooked as I was, I knew I would not get any answers standing here. So, I forced my legs to move. I opened the door and waited for Coco to lead the way. He was grinning, I swear as if he got me to do his will. I turned my attention to the street. My eyes rounded up as I tried to make sense of the scene in front of me. Indeed, the eccentricity inside the house was nothing compared to what laid outside. How did Coco know about the oddity on the other side of the door from inside the house? Right on cue, Coco’s voice broke my train of thoughts,
“I always dreamed of flying,” waving his white furry paw, he said and levitated above the floor. Before I could make a sound, he floated towards the sky. Amazed, my eyes followed his floating body until he was nothing but a blur to me. With Coco gone, I had no guide. What a selfish little devil he turned out to be! And they say dogs are the most loyal companions! With no guide and no car keys, I decided to observe the peculiar on-goings more closely. From my door, I could only see the traffic moving in reverse and all sorts of animals floating like balloons. So, to get a better view, I walked away from my house.
It was total chaos on the street. The backward moving vehicles were crashing into each other, quite dramatically. Angry drivers were barking at each other. Aggression was the name of the game. Clearly, a lack of sensible verbal communication had put everybody on edge. However, some wise people had brought out their cell phones and were communicating through typing on their devices. Despite the commotion, I must admit that the sight was quite comic. The weather reflected the current mood eloquently. As far away as I could see, dark clouds had covered the sky. It did not appear to be 9 AM by any stretch of the imagination.
I sensed something hovering on top of my head. On tilting my head upward, I saw a very content Coco looking down at me. He had decided to come back, after all. Before I could say anything, I floated a little farther from me. So, that’s how it’s going to be. He wants me to chase him. Seriously? Can’t he see the mayhem that surrounds him? Ignoring his wishes, I called Shaurya, which turned out to be a big mistake. We just barked at each other and disconnected the call. Someone grabbed my shoulder from behind. Instinctively, I slapped the stranger across his cheek. Another mistake! Shaurya’s face had reddened, I am guessing more with humiliation than the impact of the slap itself. Again, he barked and waved his arms angrily. I knew it was going nowhere, so I typed a message and sent it on his WhatsApp.
“Sry, bro! I thought u ver some1 else. Thr is no use in making faces. V r all barking at each other. The pbm is that v hear ourselves fyn, but the other person hears nothing but the barking. Coco, however, can act as a interpreter between us. If v can just get him to stop floating.”
His puzzled look made me wonder how he couldn’t figure it all out after being out for so long. Did he not hear others barking at him? Then I noticed the culprit: airpods. But, that doesn’t explain why he couldn’t SEE the madness around him. I decided to pursue my investigation of his brain some other time. I could not handle more drama, for now. Instead, I signaled for him to follow me as I rushed toward the house. I opened the news channel to find a frustrating new reporter barking at the camera. Thankfully, news tickers shed some light on the day’s abnormalities.
Briefly, the news backed the complete pandemonium that I had observed all morning. Furthermore, there had been an alarming increase in the calls to the cops. The disorienting part was that the cops, like all of us, were unable to decode the barking. To create an illusion of a semblance of normalcy, the police had issued a list of numbers where the people could report their issue via text. Along with those numbers, the police had also insisted on logging complaints on their website. Definitely, the prompt action was praiseworthy; however, urgent issues could not be reported via texts or a website. Nonetheless, they could not very well build a bark-translator so quickly. Obviously, if the situation did not change swiftly, we would have to come up with just that.
The visuals on the news were disturbing, to say the least. A couple of shots of whimpering people signified at the actual trouble on the rise. Evidently, thieves had taken advantage of distracted people. The number of thefts had increased. Cops were receiving complaints by the second. It was a complete horror show. Unable to watch the chaos anymore, I decided to try and solve this brain-teaser. Just then, I had a flashbulb moment. Leaving a bewildered Shaurya on the couch in front of the TV, I rushed to the next room and grabbed the big packet of Pedigree. Then, went back to the living area where we were watching the news.
Shaurya looked at the packet in my hand, grinned like an idiot, and began typing something on his phone. My phone beeped to show a whastapp message from, you guessed it, Shaurya.
“Just bcz v r barking doesn’t mean v should start munching on dog food.”
“You’re such an idiot. Come with me,” I quickly texted him back and ran outside the house.
I started pouring out the content of the packet right outside the house. Just as I had surmised, a drooling Coco descended within a few seconds. He could never resist Pedigree. In addition to his greed, I had guessed that he would not float far from the house that he grew on. Of course, both the speculations proved right. His pleading eyes asked our permission to start eating his favorite food. Regardless of the circumstances, his innocence still brought a smile to my face. And that was all he needed to begin stuffing his mouth with Pedigree. To avoid losing him again, I left a trail of pedigree inside the house. Then, I gestured Shaurya to stand behind the main door. As soon as Coco entered the house, happily chomping away, Shaurya closed the door behind him.
“You guys are the worst,” Coco eyed us both and then turned his gaze toward Pedigree. I suppose he figured he could shout at us after eating. Once he finished the trail of Pedigree, he laid down with his belly flat against the floor. His cute white furry face was on the floor. Exhaling loudly, he began,
“I wait for you both for hours, every single day. And, just this once, I decided to go out, you had to trick me into getting inside the house and locking me like a prisoner.”
“Coco, I am sorry that we cannot spend a lot of time with you, but you know that we love you,” I mustered a pleading face myself, and continued, “Besides, today I want to take you on an adventure.”
My words instantly melted Coco’s disappointment. His wagging tail indicated that he was both eager and thrilled with the idea. Shaurya shrugged his shoulder, and I texted him the plan. He headed for the door and barked something. Coco, too, got up and followed him. He looked over his shoulder and asked, “Coming, Princess?”
Princess! There it was again. “Coco, why do you keep addressing me as Milady and Princess?” I asked Coco, which was of course a bark to Shaurya.
“It just suits you. Now, let’s go for the adventure that you promised,” Coco winked at me.
And now he can wink, too! I mused to myself.
In a few long strides, we reached our car and hopped into it. When I started the car, however, it started moving in reverse. No matter how hard we tried, it just wouldn’t move in the forward direction. Shaurya jumped on the steering wheel and motioned for me to shift from the driving seat. I told him, which of course was a bark that Coco interpreted for Shaurya, that this was one of the many peculiarities of the day. To demonstrate the truth in my words, I turned my eyes towards the street. He followed my gaze and understood what I meant. After a few minutes of back and forth barking, we reached a unanimous decision of walking to the police station. It was definitely Coco’s day. He always panicked inside a car, so a walk was the most preferable option for him.
After a good forty-five minutes walk, we reached the police station. There was a commotion like no other. Cell phones were buzzing in every direction. Due to a lack of verbal communication, the police officers had started conveying their thoughts through writing. Senior officers were delegating tasks to the juniors by writing in big and bold letters on charts and waving them to them. One officer had around five cell phones in front of him. One by one, he was picking each one of them, reading what I assumed complaints received through text messages, and copying the important bits on a register. In their endless frenzy, they did not notice us standing there. Before anybody could notice us, we walked towards a room at the far end. At the time, we reckoned it must belong to a senior officer. We were right in our estimation.
Even so, the officer on the chair had his head on the desk. He was shaking his head side to side as if he had a very bad headache. Given the circumstances, the idea was not far-fetched. Just like outside, here, too, we were unnoticed. I cleared my throat loudly to draw his attention. When that didn’t work, Shaurya slammed his palms on his desk. The sound reverberated around the room. He raised his head, and his startled eyes met us. He opened his mouth, but, knowing the outcome of his attempt at any speech, he waved us out of the room. Instead of obeying his rude command, I barked and motioned for Coco to interpret. Promptly, my sweet little dog said,
“We have a solution to your problem. As you can hear and see for yourself, I, I mean a dog, can speak human language. Hence, you can use dogs to translate distressed calls to your officers. Also, you can take them at crime scenes, and they would help you in taking the statements of the victims, witnesses, etc.”
The officer rubbed his eyes a few times and then clapped his palms together with a loud thud. Once the shock of a talking dog rubbed off him, the excitement began to trickle of his serious demeanor. He barked his appreciation at our proposal and in few quick steps, reached the door of the office. He, then motioned for us to accompany him. Coco interpreted the whole conversation once again, but then added his own thought to the narration,
“There is one little problem, though. We, I mean the dogs, along with other animals, are floating high up in the sky. How would you get them to come down?,” and then almost immediately, his ears perked up, and he continued, “I think a bag of pedigree can produce the desired effect.” With that, he looked in my direction and winked.
Shaurya barked his own ideas, which, once translated by Coco, were very well received,
“Meanwhile, you can keep Coco to help answer the calls. Once you get more dogs to do the work, you can trust Coco with supervising their work. He is quite brilliant if I could say so myself.” His flattering appraisal earned him an ear-to-ear smile from Coco. Shaurya returned a dazzling smile in his direction and continued, “Although Pedigree-idea is wonderful, you can also connect with Animal Rescue and Adoption Agencies to help out. I am confident that they must still be locked away in their cages. If not in cages, they must be having a roof on their heads, which would have restricted their flight from getting beyond reach.”
With two or three minor modifications, our humble proposal soon turned into an official order. Dogs were soon gathered from various locations. Pedigree played a very significant role in getting a good many floating dogs back to the ground. Within a few hours, media employed dogs too. At 5 PM news, I was amazed to see my sweetie, Coco, on TV. Accompanying a barking reporter, my Coco was narrating the live coverage like a pro.
Police covered a lot of ground with the help of the human’s most loyal companion. Shaurya drove Coco back home a little after 10:30 PM. As I hit the sheets at midnight, I wondered how long would we survive this new normal. Nobody knew what caused this mayhem. At least, Coco got his day of fame. A lingering smile plastered on my lips as I thought about his excitement. In the twinkling of an eye, I dozed off.
The next morning, I heard an incessant knocking on my bedroom door. The loud thumping felt as if somebody was punching me on the head. In my drowsy state, I stumbled out of bed and almost crawled to the door. As soon as I unlocked, the door flew open, almost hitting me. Annoyed, I yelled, “What the hell!”
“You’ve got to see this, Mishty.” Shaurya shouted in excitement.
“What is it? Just tell me…Oh wait! You’re not barking.” I stared at Shaurya with my eyes wide and mouth hanging open.
“Neither are you, my dear sis,” he pinched my cheek and said, “The scientists have figured out the phenomenon that caused yesterday’s hysterical events.”
“You mean everything is back to normal. What did cause the lunacy?”
“Mishty, it was all because of the Sun.”
“What about the sun? Stop talking in riddles, Shaurya. Spit it out, already!”
“That’s what I wanted you to see for yourself in the news, but never mind you lazy bones,” he sighed and revealed the mystery, “The news reporters used a peculiar word for the branch of Science that studies such phenomena, which I don’t recall. That’s not important, anyway. Well, they said that yesterday, for the first time in the history of humans, the sun rose in the west and set in the east. They suspect this odd occurrence must have been the cause of the frenzy that we observed yesterday.”
As I was grasping the explanation, I saw a very sad-looking Coco walk by my room. Pushing everything aside, I rushed to grab Pedigree. It was about time that I began spending more time with my best bud. As expected, his face beamed at the sight of Pedigree.
- https://www.amazon.in/Dog-Food/b?ie=UTF8&node=4771395031 Pedigree is my pet’s favorite dog-food 😀 Does your dog crave for Pedigree? Any alternative of Pedigree, perhaps? Just curious!
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