Dogs and Humans
As the barking dog receded to the background, a great truth, perhaps the greatest of all, dawned on her mind. Love is not free. It brings responsibilities. Particularly those over which one has little control. Or worse. No control. And the ones over which one has some control are the unpleasant ones. To surmount the unpleasantness one has to have even more love. That leads to further responsibilities. And inequality. Imbalance so to say. Because if one has love there has to be hatred too. Not visible immediately, lurking in the dark and green corners of a heart. But it sure is there. Waiting to pounce on the unsuspecting.
That led her to another of the corollaries of the Great Truth: one has to be on one's guard. You let your guard down for a wee bit of time and lo! The monster from the dark and green crevices engulfs you. Before you can say Jack Robinson. It is that quick. So, for the first time, she understood the meaning of 'Take Care'. It meant - don't let the monster from the dark and green crevice jump on you. Like an amoeba in its vicious act of phagocytosis.
However, epiphanies and revelations only reveal further, deeper, murkier, and incomprehensible mysteries. Do the amoeba's unfortunate victims shout Jack Robinson even as they are being vacuolated? Even if they could wouldn't it be futile? The barking of a dog nearby brought her back to the present. The man had accosted her while she was feeding the stray dog.
"So! You love dogs?" He had barked in a menacing way.
"I love Mittens! See his white paws and jet-black legs! Isn't he cute? Everyone loves him!" She tried to be polite.
"Hmm! Not me! Are you aware of the consequences of feeding a dog?"
"Well - they no longer remain hungry, I suppose?" She fumbled like in one of her trigonometry sums.
"Oh, that's not important! Feeding leads to pooping! Will you clean the dog poop off the pavement?" The man was now grinning a menacing smile. He was aware of how he had managed to confound the little girl. And was he not enjoying it!
"I guess this whole wide world can take care of a tiny bit of dog poop!" She was now feeling that monster creeps out of its crevice! She was now being made aware of the cost of love - it was cleaning the poop!
"Huh! And what about the incessant barking at night which keeps me up?" The man barked.
"Well dogs bark when they are hungry ... ". She wanted to add ".. because people like you can't feed leftovers to the poor dogs ..". But she suppressed it lest it exacerbates the annoying man.
She took a deep breath and this time retorted determinedly "... and what about the constant noise of traffic at night that keeps me up?"
The prey was fighting the amoeba refusing to be bundled up in a vacuole only to be slowly phagocytosed.
"That's a part of city living. The vehicles are for our convenience. You can't complain!" The man seemed to be on the back foot. The monster was being pushed back into its tiny crevice.
"Dogs are also a part of city living!" She felt a surge of energy and warmth up her head as she uttered these words. Maybe the monster had switched places now!
The man just frowned.
They ignored each other while the dog in the centre gingerly licked the girl's school shoes clean! It seemed to say "Take care"!