Benjy was a three-month old puppy. As normal as such a puppy can be, but given to a slight tendency towards lunacy at times. One thing was sure, Benjy had a great dislike of being stationary in one place for even a single minute. Never could you hope to find him sitting or lying down during the day. As the missus remarked 'Even a twister would get dizzy looking at him running about'. And as usual, even now, Benjy was romping about the house, wrestling with the rugs on the floor, occasionally running into doors and table legs, leaping up and down chairs like a frog, but religiously avoiding the kitchen which he regarded with utmost respect. One smack from the missus of the house was enough to drill into him that it was a place to be left alone at all costs.
The spice of Benjy's life was his bubbling rivalry with the cat next door. There were several violent clashes between them, and in the last one, Benjy had been soundly scratched and bitten. He was sure didn't want another trouncing like that! It was his greatest despair that he couldn't climb trees, while his arch enemy could. 'It's not fair!' was all he could mutter. He failed to understand why God gave cats the ability to climb trees, while the dog, the clever, more honest, and 'sensibler' of the two (according to him) should be left on the ground. He had already made up his mind to ask God that when he went up to dog-heaven, wherever that was! "Oh! there you are Benjee darling! Come to mamma!" Benjy's heart sank right down to the bottom of his well padded feet. "Blow! The missus' daughter. Why can't she leave me alone." Benjy tried slipping away through the window, but was promptly captured and smothered in hugs and kisses. "Why did Benjy run away from mamma" said the girl, Pam, with a pout on her face. "Doesn't he like mamma dear?" Benjy wanted to growl and bark and hold his breath like he saw Pam do in front of her mother, but his inborn politeness made him refrain from expressing his true feelings.
He was carried up the stairs to his room, where a bow was tied around his neck, and some perfume sprayed on him. He was then tucked in into a baby cot that Pam had used when she was a baby! Benjy had a great loathing for dressing up, as indeed did all self-respecting dogs. In fact, he had a greater dread due to his frequent encounters with Pam. Benjy just failed to understand why Pam wanted to substitute him for a doll when she already had plenty in the cupboard. Dressing up was a great indignity to... to his dogliness! His heart sank again, in fact lower than before, as the next-door cat came up on the window sill. "Having fun, Benjy?" she mouthed with from there, with the usual feline smirk on her face. "Blow that cat!," He must stop her from spreading this juicy bit of news in the neighborhood. His reputation was at stake! With no regard whatsoever for Pam, he leapt at the cat. In one bound, he reached the window, and with his left paw, he gave her a sharp smack in her face. Too surprised to react, she just sat still, while our friend, Benjy raced out of the door. Gathering her wits at last, she followed suit, following him down the stairs. Around table legs and lamps they went, she after him, he after her, she after him again. "I must outwit her," gasped Benjy. For him, this was as easy said as done for his opinion of her mental capacity was rock bottom. "The missus! She will be in the kitchen," he thought in a flash. "If only I can get that stupid cat in there..." He raced towards the kitchen in the hope of tricking her into entering the kitchen. In the last second, just near the door, he swerved to the left. His feline pursuer, caught off guard stumbled through the door, right into the arms of the missus! "A cat!" Benjy heard her screech. "In my kitchen?" Benjy's adversary was picked up by the scruff off her neck and given a sharp whack on her bottom and thrust out through the window. Gathering all the dignity left in her in a lady-like manner, the cat retired to a corner of the garden, sulking. But the looks she cast Benjy, were anything but friendly. As the saying goes, "If looks could kill..."
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- The Indiaparenting Team