The Stray Dog ~ Part 4

The Stray Dog

By: Sadeq Hedayat

Translated by: Firuz Akhtar Mohamad Bohari


Source: Wikimedia taken by David Trawin

His brother used to bite his ears, and then both of them would fall on the ground, and then get up and started running again. He found a new playmate, his master’s son. In the garden, he ran after the boy, barked, and playfully bit his clothes. He never forgot the caresses from his master and the sugar cubes that he ate from his hand. However, he liked the master’s son more because the boy was his playmate and he had never beaten him. Later, he suddenly lost his mother and brother, leaving him alone with his master and wife, their son, and an old servant. He could distinguish each of their scents quite well and he recognized the sound of their footsteps. During dinner and lunch, he circled the table and sniffed at the food. Sometimes the master’s wife would keep aside a piece of food with love despite the opposition of her husband. Then, the old servant would come and call him “Pat, Pat,” and pour his food in a special dish beside his small, wooden house.

Pat’s weakness was the reason for his bad luck, so his master never allowed him to go out and follow any bitches. As fate would have it, on an autumn day, his master and two friends, who Pat recognized since they often came to the house, were sitting in a car. They called Pat to sit beside them in it. Pat had travelled with his master several times, but on that day, he was intoxicated and felt a special excitement and anxiety. After a few hours, they stopped the car at the same square where he now lived. His master and friends passed through the same alley beside the tower, when the scent of a bitch, the special smell that Pat had been searching for, made him crazy. He sniffed in different directions, and finally, went towards the garden’s water canal. Once through it, he entered the garden.

Near dawn, he heard his master’s voice calling for him “Pat! Pat!” Was it really his voice or was it the echo of his voice that kept repeating in his ears?

Even though his master’s voice had a strange effect on him, as he recalled all of the responsibilities and obligations, an extremely strong power, stronger than the power of the outside, world urged him to follow the bitch. His ears became heavy and deaf. An intense feeling in him was awakened, and the scent of the bitch was so sharp and strong that it made his head dizzy.