KAJAL CHATTERJEE, Kolkotha (Island Opinion Page)
Once I visited the home of one of my relatives in another town, in a large demarcated residential complex, amidst well-planned bungalows, streets lanes and by lanes.
I came to know that a dog of the locality has given birth to three puppies which had become the latest sensation or mode of entertainment among the little boys of the neighbourhood!
The dog had kept the puppies within a dry uncovered drain running beside the lane. Since the puppies could be seen from the street the curiosity of little children were finding no bounds! From morning to evening, they were hovering above the puppies.
Still needing to eat or sustain herself, was often seen roaming the streets or sitting outside the gate of any bungalow in expectation of food or leftovers. Along with that search of food for herself, she was keeping a sharp vigil so as to protect the puppies from its enemies — one of which is a male dog (don’t know whether it was the father or not)!
This male dog was a large-sized animal appearing very strong and healthy, unlike the mother dog – lean, thin and small. Whenever she saw that male dog approach her puppies, she challenged it, fast as lightning with ferocious eyes, and to my utmost joy and surprise, the large-sized male dog was fast escaping, only to reappear after an hour; and the process continued on and on! It proved that not physical strength, but mental courage is the foremost, seen by the hasty retreat of the well-built male dog when challenged by the physically weak but determined spirited female dog.
In the evening with the sky having dark black clouds threatening a very sharp shower within minutes, the puppies are in a dry uncovered drain. Now if rain starts, drains are bound to get flooded endangering their lives. In came the adults of the neighbourhood to discuss about the fate of the babies. Though all the bungalows are all sold-out, but many of them remain uninhabited, because the owners might have purchased them for investment purpose only. Though the main doors of such bungalows are kept under locks, the garden gate and the covered verandah remain accessible. So the adults decided that the puppies would be transferred from the open drain to the covered verandah of the nearest uninhabited bungalow. Within minutes the adults and children launched operation of puppy-shifting! At that particular time, the mother dog was sitting outside a bungalow gate about 60 feet away! I was amazed to see that far from charging at them, she was casually looking at the scene with utmost “philosophy” and indifference in her eyes! Whereas, the same mother dog was furiously chasing away her male counterpart when he was approaching her puppies!
I then understood the supreme intelligence and sixth sense of the mother dog! Despite being “merely” an animal, she was fully able to differentiate between a foe and a friend! She knew the male dog can harm her puppies, but that lot of human beings are nothing but well-wishers of her little ones! So there lies nothing to get perturbed about or chase when the puppies were being physically shifted!
Thus a dog can also realize who the enemy is and who the benevolent fellow is! But do the “educated” “literate” “enlightened” human beings succeed in doing so! Certainly not, else we would not have been taken for granted and misled or exploited by the politicians, sham companies, offering lucrative deals, pimps and vested interests of all possible hues.
Will we try to imbibe the intelligence and enviable sense of the dogs to identify our true friends and enemies and save society from meeting its doom?