Muddle Over Puddles: The argument continues

Finally Pari and her mother come to an agreement over Puddles ...

October 05, 2022 09:34 am | Updated 09:34 am IST

Story so far: After Pari’s new puppy howls, her mother is certain the it is a jackal. But Pari insists that Puddles is a dog.

“Pups whine, Pari, not howl. Even if they howl, it’s different,” called her mother from the living room. “That howl was distinctly like a jackal’s. They are not like parrots and cockatoos who learn to imitate others.” Her mother walked into Pari’s room. “Jackals do what comes to them instinctively!”

“Nani, tell me one thing about Puddles — besides the howling — that makes you think she’s not a dog,” asked Pari.

“Pari rani, how does it matter. Jackals are very similar to dogs. Only they cannot be kept as pets. Or trained. Or trusted.”

“Nani, you know what aunty Kiran said about Diya. She said Diya’s first words were not Ma or Papa, unlike mine. It is possible Puddles chose to howl, instead of bark!” (Diya Gupta was Pari’s best friend, and neighbour. )

“I don’t know, Pari,” replied Nani. “At your age, it can be very confusing.”

“But, Nani, I’m not the one who is confused. It’s you and Ma. And Ma’s now confusing Papa. I’m absolutely sure Puddles is a puppy.”

Suddenly, Pari had a brainwave. “It could be, like Mowgli, Puddles too was brought up by a jackal. So, the first thing she learned was to howl, instead of bark.”

A way out

Just then, her mother came in, smiling. “I have a solution. Papa agrees to get you another puppy.”

Pari clapped. “I will name the new puppy, Cuddles. If Puddles gets a puppy to play with, she will grow up to be a dog.”

“What do you mean?” gasped her mother. “The new puppy will be a replacement for Puddles.”

“No!” shrieked Pari. “Pets cannot be replaced. I don’t want to change Puddles. She’s perfect.”

“What if Puddles makes Cuddles into a jackal? Imagine two fierce carnivores in the house. That’s possible too.”

That silenced Pari for a while but, on her way out to school, she said, “Maybe Puddles wanted to bark, but howled by mistake.”

“Animals don’t make such mistakes. She will surely howl again. And I promise you, she will do it tonight.”

“But Ma, if she doesn’t howl tonight, can I keep Puddles?”

Her mother was so sure the cub would howl again that she agreed. Since it was Pari’s idea, she could also get rid of the cub without tantrums. Until it was confirmed that Puddles was a puppy, her mother decided it would stay in the verandah, not Pari’s bedroom.

To be continued

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