Compassionate Creatures


“The word was on the tip of his tongue but still he couldn’t say it.” – Today’s Author

He gulped hard and tried again.

“Mom?” He couldn’t go further. He signed in exasperation. His mother was looking at him bemused, with a slight open mouth.

He wet his lips.

“What’s wrong, Raj?” She gazed into his worried eyes. “What did the doctor say?”

Raj wrung his hands, “I’m sorry, Mom.” He shook his head. “She’s not going to make it.”

For a split second, Raj was terrified. His mother hadn’t reacted; her face was impassive. Then she shrugged lightly and bit her lower lip. “Oh well,” she heaved, “about time too,” she added gently. She smiled encouragingly at him.

“Huh?” Raj was shocked. He hadn’t expected this. “Mom?” he tried slowly, “did you understand — ”

“Oh yes, Raj” his mother replied thoughtfully. “I understand that my dearest dog isn’t going to survive.” She betrayed no emotion. “And it’s only natural; she’s been with me ever since you left with your wife — and that was twelve years ago.” She smiled again, raising her eyebrows; the knowing smile.

“Pity. The most compassionate of creatures have short life spans.”

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