The Stray Dog ~ Part 5
The Stray Dog
By: Sadeq Hedayat
Translated by: Firuz Akhtar Mohamad Bohari
His muscles, senses, and body did not obey him anymore; he lost control, but it did not take long for people to hit him with wood and spade, and they chased him out of the canal. Pat was dizzy and exhausted, but still felt light. Once he came back to his senses, he searched for his master. Passing a few alleys, only a trace of his master’s scent remained. He checked everywhere, and in certain places he left signs of himself until he arrived at a ruined place outside the village. Then, he went back since he knew that his master would return to the square, but from there his weak scent was lost among the smells. Did his master just abandon him there?
He finally realized the distress and tension. How could Pat be without a master? How could he live without a Lord? His master was always a God for him! However, he was sure that his master would search for him. Feeling terrified, he ran on several roads, but his efforts were useless.
Finally, at night, exhausted and wounded, he returned to the square. There was not a single trace of his master and he circled the village several times. He went back to the canal where the bitch had been, but others had put some rocks there. With enthusiasm, Pat dug the earth in the hopes that he could enter the garden, but it was impossible. After a while, he gave up and took a nap right there.
In the middle of the night, Pat was jolted out of his sleep because of his own moans. Fearfully, he got up and roamed through the alleys. He sniffed the walls and for a while, confused, he wandered around. Extreme hunger struck him. He went back to the square and the smell of various foods grabbed his attention. The smell of leftover meat, fresh bread, and yogurt mixed together, but at the same time, he felt guilty to invade others’ territories, and to beg from people who looked like his previous master. If no rival was found, perhaps someone would gradually take him in as a pet.
With caution and full of fear, he stood in front of a bakery that had just opened its door; and eventually the sharp smell of baked bread was in the air. A person with bread under his arms called him “Come on, come on,” and how strange the voice sounded in his ears! The person threw a piece of warm bread. After a little hesitation, Pat ate the bread and wagged his tail for the kind person, who then put the bread on the shop’s platform and cautiously patted Pat’s head. Then, with both hands, he took off his collar. How comfortable Pat felt! It was like all of the responsibilities, limitations, and obligations were lifted from his shoulders. However, once he waggled his tail and went closer to the shop owner, he received a firm kick, and he stepped away, moaning. The shop owner carefully washed his hands by the stream. Pat recognized his collar, which was hanging in front of the shop.