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1st Prize Winner - Group II - Man’s Best Friend

March, 2015
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Man’s Best Friend

Why?

Why mother?

As I slowly trotted on the grey ground with big towering structures looming over my head, raindrops falling on the unfamiliar ground, this was all I could think of.           

My mother threw me away being the weakest of the litter, and left me in this unfamiliar world to fend for myself at my young age. She never looked back as she nudged the other pups away from me.

In this alien world, I knew I could not trust anyone.

I spent my days scavenging these streets, looking for food in dull, grey cans in-between buildings, and trying to stick to the wall with all the trampling feet that were looking to stomp on me. Raindrops fall constantly everywhere I go, contributing even more to the sadness and hopelessness I was experiencing.

But then I met a human. Mother, before she abandoned me has always said to stay away from humans, as they will hurt you. But this was a human that I could trust.

That day was when I decided to be a bit more adventurous, so I set off to find a place away from this cruel life. I wandered aimlessly for a day, scavenging food along the way. I later found myself in a quieter place with less noise, less people, less danger. I found food in much sleeker, silver cans that have tastier foods in larger amounts. I ate and ate and ate, then slowly started dozing off.

I later then woke up to find myself in the hands of a human, carrying me into one of their big housings. Realising the situation I was in, I immediately tried to scratch my way out, and I was too weak and tired to struggle and resist. The man lowered me on the slippery, shiny surface of his home. I laid there for a while, trying to fight the temptation to sleep. After managing to do so, I tried to get up…

Only to succumb to the abnormal smoothness of the floor below me.

The man laughed. Not in a vicious, evil way, but a happy, jolly chuckle. “Come on, get up. Let’s get you some real food.”

And that was the way I found my first friend in this world. Not a parent, not a master, but a friend. He fed me with food much more delightful than the scraps I found in the tins, which I found later was where people put there rubbish. The man brushed me and washed me, so I didn’t have to live in filth. He gave me a name that i liked to be called: Robin. And when I was not well, he brought me to a person that would help me and give me things to help me get better. When I was being examined by the person, the man would always say to me while looking in my eyes:

“Don’t worry, I’ll wait until you’re all better.”

And he did. Every single time.

Until one day.

He sat on his red couch, while I was lying down beside him being stroked by his gentle fingers. He then heard a knock on the door, which means that somebody is there. I watched as he opened the door to see two people in white clothes, who talked to him for a while. He seemed very upset. He picked me up from the couch and carried me into the two people’s car, still stroking me.

“Hey bud,” he said to me with a hint of sadness, as if at the brink of tears. We’re going to be away from the house for a while. We’re going to a place where they help people like me get better.” I looked up to him, and got snuggled down on his lap again. Little did I know that tears were shed.

The car ride was long, we went across many places like where we get our food and where we get help for me. We went to a white building, about the size of a building where my mother left me.

The two people led us through many corridors and doors, many people around me looking at my friend sadly. We were led through many more doors and a few stairs, to a bed with lots of strange, metal objects. My friend put me down on the bed, giving a pat as he exited the room. “Stay here, I’ll be back soon.”

I waited for him to come back for hours. Days. Then weeks. People in white clothing always gave me food and water, but it was never him. I hoped that one day it would eventually be him, walking into the room with open hands, and I could just jump into his arms, so we could go back to that normal life that I always loved, me jumping around while he was reading. But it never was. I almost lost hope that he would never come back to me. What did I do wrong?

I heard a voice. His Voice. It was weak, almost feeble, as if the voice could break at any second.

“Tell Robin I’m sorry.”

I jumped out of the bed and started to sprint towards that voice, towards a white, open door at the end of the corridor.

And there he was with the more white-clothed people. His face was sunken, his body in an impossibly thin state. His eyes slowly looked at me. His mouth slowly curled into smile, and opened the slightest bit.

“Thank you, Robin.”

His head slowly dipped downwards.

I jumped up to his bed and lied on his lap. I fell asleep.

I woke up on a seat in a black car, along with many other people that I have not seen before, all wearing black and white clothes. An unspoken sadness was felt by everyone in the car, most of them with misty eyes or crying altogether.

The car stopped abruptly. The people around me opened their car doors, drying their eyes as they walk towards a gathering of many other people, surrounding something I couldn’t really make out. I hoped out of the car, galloping out to see what they were looking at. Squirming my way past the shoes and legs of many people, I got through to the clearing.

There was a box, a mound, and a hole.

The mound of dirt was freshly made, the obvious destination of where the dirt went from the hole. The hole was a deep one, a large, rectangular ditch, as if the hole was dug to put the box in.

The box was rectangular and wooden with intricate carvings on each face. Hinges were placed on a side, and the lid was left open. I jumped onto the box, two paws onto the side, and there, lays the man that changed my life. It’s a shame that I never knew his name. He gave me mine.  One of the men from the group pulled me away from the box, holding me back when other people closed the box, and lowered my friend into the earth.

The man only released me when the dirt was placed back into the ground. I walked over the to the freshly placed soil and placed my head on it. He can’t be gone, right? He’ll be back. I know.

Don’t worry, I’ll wait until you’re all better.

 

By Adam Yeung
Yew Chung International School of Shanghai

 

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