The Stray Dog ~ Part 2
The Stray Dog
By: Sadeq Hedayat
Translated by: Firuz Akhtar Mohamad Bohari
After those men got exhausted from torturing him, the rice pudding seller boy continued tormenting him in enjoyment. In response to each moan, the dog was hit with a small stone on his waist while the boy laughed and cursed “Rotten dog!” The sounds of others’ guffawing became louder with his whines. It seemed that all of them were cooperating with the boy and noxiously encouraging him. They started to giggle because, in their perspective, they had hit the dog for God’s satisfaction. It was natural for them since dogs are unclean in their religion and have seven lives; they assumed that they would be highly rewarded for the torment.
Finally, the dog had no choice but to run down an alley that headed towards the tower with the rice pudding boy pursuing him. He found shelter at the canal, but was very hungry. He placed his head on his two paws, stuck out his tongue, and in a half-asleep, half-awake condition, he watched the rippling green field in front of him. His body was tired and he was in pain. In the humid air of the canal, he felt a sense of special comfort throughout his whole body.
Various smells, including the smell of the half-dead grass, damp old shoe, and both dead and living things in his nose made him recall mingled and distant memories. Each time he gazed at the green field, his innate desire awakened and his memories became alive in his mind. However, this time, the feeling was so strong, as if there was a voice close to his ears asking him to spring up and wriggle around. He suddenly had an extreme desire to run and leap in the grass.
The feeling was inherited from his ancestors in Scotland who were raised to run freely in the fields. Unfortunately, his body was in so much pain that it did not allow him to move even a little. He felt pain mingled with weakness and feebleness. A set of forgotten and lost feelings were suddenly stimulated. Once upon a time, he had many limitations and needs. He felt responsible to always be prepared to be summoned to chase away strangers and unfamiliar dogs from the master’s house, to play with the master’s children, to eat, and to expect affection at a specific time. However, all of his responsibilities had been taken away from him.