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The case of the one-eared doggie

When my mother brought it home on my sixth birthday, I was so elated. In fact I realise now that I would have to go great lengths to be that happy ever again in my life.

My parents had decided that I was old enough to finally move into the room across the hallway, and they assured me there weren’t really any monsters under the bed. But six-year-olds aren’t that easily convinced. So they made me an offer I couldn’t refuse (yes, that was a Godfather reference). I could get myself a stuffed toy.

I could have a fluffy night vigilante, a stuffed silent guardian, by my side. So you see, back in the 1990s we didn’t have much of a choice in these things — one had to choose from among stuffed dogs, cats, lions with weird wired moustaches, and teddy bears with stupid fixed expressions on their faces.

I already had a cat which was practically brought up with me, so when I was hitting six, she was hitting her 40s in cat years and was quite scratchy to touch. So, I settled for a dog.

An entire evening was spent in agonising anticipation, standing on my toes, looking out the window, waiting for my parents. It’s the same kind of anticipation you felt when your favourite show was about to go on air and you just had a power-cut, or when you were unwrapping a chewing gum and guessing which tattoo you might find inside. Oh well!

So my mom and dad came back, and whoa, the sweetest, fluffiest, cutest stuffed dog was dolled in my tiny hands. And we were inseparable from that moment onwards.

After unwrapping all the less interesting gifts, I decided to give the dog a ponytail, and to my horror I discovered it only had one ear.

I went from bawling to full-blown hysteria. My dad turned it in his hands, scrutinised it for a good two minutes but couldn’t see anything wrong. After many years of worldly cognisance I think he was terribly poor at feigning.

Then I took the matter/dog into my own hands and poked my finger into the hole where the missing ear should have been. My dad then felt terribly sorry for me and promised that my mother would take me back to the store.

In quest of the ear

So mom and I went on a quest for the missing ear. The salesman found in my plight some symbolism of cuteness and gave my cheeks a pull. I, on the other hand, thought it was highly unprofessional of him to be avoiding what should be his top priority at that moment, the missing ear.

So he along with his two colleagues joined in the quest of a missing white fluffy ear; it lasted 20 minutes across two floors, while I lugged my sorry sad dog on my back. But we didn’t find it, so they offered my mom a discount, or cashback. It was unthinkable for me then (yours truly would understand the concept of discount much later).

By this time the fiasco had attracted the attention of the store manager, who walked in to witness a not-so-pretty scene. A sobbing six-year-old, a mother trying to console her, and three of his utterly clueless employees. He was promptly also informed of the purpose of the purchase, namely, to fight the demons under the bed.

The manager came and picked me up in his arms and took me to the new stuffed toys section. He picked up two blue little dinosaurs from the top-most shelf, and gave them to me. He suggested that since my dog was a little less powerful with just one ear, hopefully the dinos would help it to tackle the monsters under my bed.

Thirteen years later, my little cousin inherited the one-eared dog and its two blue sidekicks, from me. But he was disappointed that I didn’t gift him a PlayStation instead.

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Printable version | Apr 5, 2020 4:07:15 AM |

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