Muddle Over Puddles: Lost and found?

Pari suggests that Puddles could be Jill’s lost puppy but her mother doesn’t buy that one.

October 21, 2022 08:17 am | Updated 08:18 am IST

Story so far: Pari and her best friend, Diya, come up with an idea to save Puddles. Does the plan work?

Diya was the class topper, though some jealous children said that was because she was the class teacher’s niece. Pari knew that wasn’t true. Diya topped every class, even when her aunt wasn’t their class teacher. So Pari expected Diya to be intelligent enough to understand.

“Puppies only make a noise when they are hungry and without their mother,” said Pari. “With Jill around, Puddles will have a mother and milk. So she will not howl.”

“But Pari,” said Diya, “I’ve read when wild animals lose their babies, they come looking for them. They can sniff them out. Do you think mama Jackal will catch Puddles’ trail and come to our door at night?”

“Puddles isn’t a jackal!” screamed Pari.

“You told me in class today that Puddles may have been abandoned by her mother, and that a jackal might have adopted her,’ replied Diya. “Which may have been how she might have learnt to howl. What if the foster mama comes looking for her?”

“How will she know where she is, Diya? I bathed Puddles with my own shampoo. She smells like a girl, not a jackal. And for three days no mama jackal has come to our house!”

Jill’s odd behaviour

Diya felt relieved, as she carried Puddles home and placed her in Peep’s basket. But Jill followed Pari and sat outside the Kumar’s house all evening. At bedtime, when Mrs. Kumar switched off the verandah light, Jill began to scratch the front door.

“Why is Jill behaving oddly?” Mrs. Kumar wondered and threw her a chapatti. Perhaps the Guptas were busy with their anniversary preparations and had forgotten to feed Jill.

“Maybe she wants to come in,” said Nani.

“Isn’t a jackal in the verandah enough? Now our neighbour’s dog! What next?”

“It could be that Puddles is Jill’s lost puppy.” Pari called from her room.

“Nonsense!” muttered her mother. “We all know Jill had only three pups.”

“What if there were originally four puppies? And one followed her outside and got lost in the forest. And Papa and I found her in the puddle.”

“Puppies open their eyes only a couple of weeks after birth. They can’t wander out on their own,” replied her mother.

“What if Jill threw her away because she was female?” asked Pari. “Aunty Kiran says nobody wants female puppies. That’s why nobody has adopted Peeps yet.”

‘”Puddles isn’t a puppy. So no question about her being Jill’s lost pup. That’s if Jill even lost one!’ Mrs. Kumar rolled her eyes.

Pari trudged into the verandah and suggested, “Why not let Jill decide?”

To be continued’

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