You see that small scary thing in the distance in that picture? That is it. This whole picture had been my view across the street for well over a year, while I was still in college.
I’ll never get over the first encounter we had. There I was, walking back home after a good morning run and then I see this squeaky little monster in the middle of the road where I will have to cross him to get to home. I step back for a minute and think of possible alternative routes, which were none by the way, and so I decide to bravely march on! I could sense the little doggie sizing me up and deciding on its next course of action.
You know that strange wiggling-jelly feeling you get in your legs when you are nervous? I was no longer walking but just wobbling inch by inch while begging God for mercy and offering bribe in the form of coconuts and sweets, just to safely get past the little monster. To any onlooker, I could have been the very embodiment of ‘Mr. Wobbly Man’.
Anyway, back to the monster. So, while I am wobbling across the road, the little guy waits patiently, like a crocodile letting its prey enjoy some final moments on the planet before tearing it to pieces. Now I am about 15 centimetres away from the monster and suddenly my brain starts calculating the distance and height of walls of nearby houses and the speed with which I need to run to get to the nearest wall, in case the monster arrives at a negative decision on my existence.
Ten centimetres away and I lose it all. I take a couple of steps that almost look like I am running and then the horror! The monster decides earth can do without me after all and automatically latches itself onto my leg. It keeps going round and round around my legs while I have an 8 by 10 glossies of my whole life flashing before my eyes. My brilliant mind then decides that now is the right time to pat the monster’s head, probably hoping the affection might make it re-think its opinion of me. Ultimate ‘Thor’ mistake!
Marvel fans, you know what happens next.
The monster goes crazy. And I panic and do the one thing you are advised against when getting chased by a dog. I run. I run like a maniac and quickly jump over one of the walls of a nearby house. The crazy monster scales that wall too! I have absolutely no idea whose house is that, who lives there, nothing at all. I see the monster jumping effortlessly over the wall, like a cat. And to its credit, the wall was of a considerable height. Anyway, realizing the wall was no protection from it, I bang on the front door of the house and meanwhile see my end approaching closer every second. By the time the woman answers the door, the monster has reached me but in an almost reflex action, the woman comes out and kicks the monster gently in the stomach.
It let out a squeal that sounded so much like a baby and then it sat down wagging its tail so hard, could have knocked down a building with it.
The woman bent down and patted the monster and it went crazy. It kept going round and round the woman’s legs and was jumping around happily. I was amazed. When it did the same thing to me few moments ago, I viewed it as aggression and looking at the pair now, I could see the monster was really just being affectionate and was happy if you rubbed its belly, just like your average pet. The woman then looked at me and then the gate that was bolted from the inside. She figured out my desperation that led me to scale the wall and quickly checked me for bruises.
Apparently, the squeaky little monster had moved into the neighborhood, a couple of days back, out of nowhere. And most of the people around were not very nice to it. They kept chasing it away with stones and sticks. In fact, a dog catcher had also been summoned to carry this monster and a couple more street dogs away from the “civilized locality”. The little monster somehow escaped notice. And now five years later, it is a thriving part of our street’s ecosystem. I see children and adults feeding it and playing around with it.
The episode did not make me like the monster instantaneously though. No matter how happy it seemed, I always felt like something sinister was going on in its brain. I kept my distance and had a severe case of cynophobia following this incident. My legs would give out at the very sight of a dog. Every time I had to step out of the home to carry out an errand, I would drag my mother along. Over the years, fear slowly gave way to a strange attachment and now every time I step out of the home, I look for the little monster.
I'd like to think I have made my peace with the canine population now.
P.S – For all you non – Noddy watchers out there, this is your time for redemption. Refer to the below link for a hearty episode featuring Mr. Wobbly Man. And then binge-watch the entire series. That should make your weekend, and in general your existence, worthwhile!