As our car (I was along with my best friend) entered his bungalow I asked my friend, “Do you think he has a pet dog?”
“Are you afraid of dogs?” he asked
“Not the ones that on the outside resembles Homo sapiens. Over my lifetime I have perfected the art of dealing with that kind. In-fact, as Mark Twain once said, if you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous he will not bite you. This is the principal difference b/w a dog and man. I know it’s this type that you should be more fearful of but instead I have an abnormal fear for real-dogs”
I resist visiting all my dog owner friends; primarily because, it’s the dog that greets you before your friend & I construe that welcome growl as, “kyon aaya hai be yahan? Tere baap ka ghar hai? Bhag yahan se” (loosely translated in English as: Fu**** why are you here? Fu** off)
So we parked our car, rang the door bell and as expected friend’s pet greeted us. I took a step back; natural extinct prevailing.
“Tiger! My boy… Tiger!” our host came out, sure he meant, “Boy! Don’t worry, no they are no strangers. Don’t worry. I know them”
Duly chained tiger noticed that his owner himself was taking us inside the bungalow but he continued his welcome growl. I obviously maintained distance.
Tiger seemed to belong to elite kind; he definitely had a greater social status or prestige. I generally get overwhelmed, awed by this special group, its affiliations and practices, its demeanor. Well a friend once told me that in far West, they keep what they call as “The Social Register” which acts as a key resource for identifying individuals that were elite. Tiger seemed one of them.
Sitting in the lawn with friends that evening, looking at “tiger the higher one”, I was feeling a little intimidated. Tiger was on his evening walk. Just about then I noticed two “Street dogs” at the lawn-gate. Intimidated they were, just like me, looking at Tiger’s mannerism & royalty. Tiger, true to his class was invariably ruthless towards these “street dogs”; barking at mere sight.
My friend noticed that I was taking a somewhat keen interest in tiger Vs street dog dual. He said, “This is their daily routine. Every evening when Tiger is on his walk in the lawn, both of them just roam around the gate and stare at Tiger”.
“Humm! But Tiger shouldn’t bark at them. Tiger is upper class Aristocrat, has wherewithal. They are browbeaten oppressed kind. What is tiger going to gain by further intimidating them?”
My friend I think couldn’t understand what I meant. Anyways, that night all three of us (tiger, my friend and I) slept in the lawn. Late in the night I noticed another behavior trait of Tiger, leading me to believe that tiger was actually “Upper class”; a slash below the real “Society group”. What happened in the night was that whenever street dogs growled at a stranger signifying a potential danger Tiger whole-heartedly contributed in their collective growl that slowly increased in intensity and ultimately turned into a howling growl.
But why was Tiger participating? In the evening he was growling at these street dogs; now at the slightest fear of potential danger why Tiger became one of them?
That’s a true “Upper class” trait. A group that broadcast themselves as “Classy”, “higher ones”, “Aristocrat” but at the slightest sense of danger quickly rearrange themselves to where the majority is.
Next evening when we were just about leaving I saw Tiger lying in the corner of the lawn brutally bruise, licking his own wounds. I tried enquiring.
My friend told me that in the evening; inadvertently the main gate was left open. Tiger walked out in the open and those street dogs were anyways on a lookout, they got their chance & rest as you can see.
I looked at Tiger again. Here’s my version of what would have happened that eventful evening.
Tiger would have stepped out of the main gate filled with his fake royalty, would have growled at the “Street Dogs” as usual. Street dogs that day sensing tiger is out of his private zone would have responded saying, “You pretender! You are nothing more than one of us. On the slightest sense of danger you arrange yourself behind us, but otherwise you growl at us.”
Tiger I think would have growled again & that’s when “street dogs” would have given him a ROYAL beating.
I am sure tiger sitting quietly in the corner is brainstorming on where does he actually belong?