The walk

This is a work of fiction. Any names or characters, businesses or places, events or incidents, are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.

Cousin Sarah came often to visit me. We used to have many play-dates together. One afternoon, we quietly slipped out of the house through the open gate. Our house was well protected with a heavy wooden gate, and usually, the gate was locked but on that day, my grandfather had just returned from visiting a customer and forgot to lock it.

“Come, Sarah, grab your bag, let’s go to the pet shop I said” …and we seized the opportunity and rushed out into the abyss of the unknown.

The shop was quite far away. I had been there only once before with my mother to admire the nice dogs, with the hope of convincing mom to buy me a puppy. We walked through the unfamiliar winding and mysterious streets of the neighborhood. As we were marching along, I noticed that people were looking at us kind of strangely.

“Look at these two” they would say, then bursting into a mad laugh! I did not understand why they were laughing at us.

It was my first time alone on the street without my parents. A sense of adventure was in the air. Finally, after a long walk that seemed like an eternity, we arrived at the shopping center. Store after store we searched and searched until finally, we found what we were looking for. The pet shop.

Inside the shop, we were greeted by the sound of a thousand barking puppies, all trying to grab our attention from inside their little cages.

“Take me” one of the dogs shouted.

“I’ll be your best friend” he yelled at the top of his lungs.

“ me..said another dog”

In the back of the store, one little puppy, a white-furred Lhasa Apso was curled quietly in the corner of the cage. She was quiet, subdued and did not try to grab anyone’s attention. The equivalent of a human introvert. When I got closer and made eye contact, she got up and started wagging her tail. I pushed my index through the cage’s bars. The little puppy immediately came to me and started licking my finger. It was love at first site.

“Sarah, do you like her?” I asked.

“Yes cousin, very much she’s such a cute puppy” Sarah replied. We proceeded to the counter where the shopkeeper was involved in an intense negotiation with a very classy, expensively dressed slender young woman.

“ I will give you four fifty for the Schnauzer,” said the woman.

“ That’s impossible” replied the owner. I can’t do it for that price. The breeder charges me a thousand. And I need to make some profit don’t I?” said the owner.

“Well, my last offer is seven hundred,” said the woman, swirling her Pashmina scarf around her neck.

“I am sorry, but the best deal I can offer you is twelve fifty” replied the owner.

“This is a pure breed dog with all the papers. He comes from a long line of a respectable family of Schnauzers” he added.

“Well, for that amount you can keep your stinky dog to yourself.” replied the woman and stormed out through the glass door where her chauffeur was waiting in the running car.

“How much is that Lhasa puppy?” I asked the owner.

The owner looked at me and started laughing.

“Young man, do you think you have enough money in your pocket?” he responded.

As I was trying to search my pockets, I realized in despair that I had none. I was not going to be able to get my Lhasa.

It was only then that I understood why people were laughing at us as we were walking down the streets. In a rush to leave the house without being noticed by my mother, I forgot to get dressed. I had been walking the streets completely unaware of the fact that I was naked as the day I was born.

At that moment the sound of the sirens became unbearable. Into the shop stormed a couple of policemen accompanied by my desperate parents. They have finally found us. With a menacing look, they grabbed us and we were shoved into the police car.

I never met the Lhasa again.

In my heart, I hope she had found a nice, good respectable owner and a good home as she was a brave modest puppy.
I must have been no more than 4 years old.