Friday, March 11, 2011

a boy and his little sister

A boy and a girl, brother and sister, around 12 years old and 9 years old. They were walking home from the market each with a bag of food in one hand. On this quiet weekend morning they seemed to be enjoying the wind and the sun, and each other.

As we walked down the deserted street, approaching each other, the three of us heard a painful screeching sound. Yelp! Yelp! Yelp! ... Yelp! Yelp! Yelp!

Our eyes followed the sound and landed on the sight of a little tiny black puppy, so bedraggled, wet and miserable looking that I'm not entirely sure it really was a puppy, clutching a mound of sand that was poking out from a puddle of water, like a tiny tropical island on a scale appropriate to a baby puppy.

The boy handed his bag to his little sister, walked over to the sand and the puddle and gently took the screaming pup into his two hands, then carried it over to the nearest solid ground he could find: a neighbour's driveway. He laid it down gently and rejoined his sister on the street.

The puppy resumed its yelping. Louder this time, perhaps. I am not an animal person; in fact, I may be the opposite. But my heart was twisting and turning and churning and shuddering with the pain expressed in the voice of this little creature.

Maybe something was wrong with his legs? He started walking, but excruciatingly slowly, and he kept screeching. Maybe he had almost drowned and was still in shock from pulling up out of the puddle of water?

Whatever it was, the boy's heartstrings were tugging too. In this land where dogs are nothing more than freakish street mongrels that bark at night and sleep all day, where animal rights is not even a phrase in people's vocabulary, I was in awe of this boy determined to be the cavalier, determined to save the day by helping a frightened little puppy.

He and his sister discussed options and I stared at the whole scene in silence. He decided to go find help. But at this time in the morning on a Friday, everyone is either asleep or at mosque so he found noone. There was nothing to be done but to come back, pick up the little critter, soaking wet and covered in sandy mud, and carry it home cradled in his arms.

As they headed home with their new pet, I went on my way and decided that I want to be inspired by this girl and her big brother. To stop and respond to needs, even if there is no logic to explain those needs. To let the heartstrings of my heart have a say in the actions taken by my brain.

1 comment:

happygirl said...

I am so grateful for your writing. The Sudan is, likely a place I will not get to visit. I'm glad you paused to witness the touching scene of care for small creature. It touched me.

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