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As he walked on, the boy remained standing, looking down at the whining puppy. Sensing that
the boy was not following, he stopped and looked back. He was still sympathizing with the
“Can we take it with us?” he asked.
“We need to get home, come on?” he called him. The boy remained silent and hesitant, not
sure whether to follow his father or remain with the puppy.
“We cannot just leave it like this?” he said.
“Son, we have no time, you need to come with me now, night is approaching,” his father
insisted. The boy continued to hesitate.
“But father-”
“But what son? We need to get home. It is probably almost dead–you have seen its wounds?
Come on,”
The boy still did not move. After a sigh, the man turned around and walked back to him.
“Look, this puppy might not make it all the way home,” he said.
“It can father?”
“Even if it did, it might end up causing trouble,”
“Trouble?” the boy questioned, “But you said they could be kept? Didn‟t you?”
“Look, this dog, is going to die,” he stressed, “look at it, it is dying, and we need to get
“But we cannot just leave it here like this,‟ the boy continued.
“What is wrong with you? We have to go!” There was a moment.
“But I want it,” the boy said finally. The man sighed, after which the boy looked up at him
with a miserable face. They gazed eye to eye for a moment, and he noticed that the boy was not
going to give up.
“Okay,” he said, “but something is not right with this, give me the duck,” the boy handed
him the duck, which quacked louder and jerked its muscles vigorously to escape. He grabbed the
duck and locked it under his strong right arm, his spear held in his left hand.
“Pick it up,” he told the boy while looking around at the surrounding trees, walking on
away. The boy gently carried the whining puppy and carefully supported it on his arms across his
chest. He followed his father while cuddling it with sympathy. Eastwards, opposite the direction
of the orange, setting sun, they walked through the bed of circular leaves, heading down another
very gentle slope that led the way out of the well- spaced trees.
Lighting the entire hut, was the fire on top of which was placed the simple grilling
apparatus. Well above the warming flames, was the headless, leg- less, golden brown duck,
dripping fat through the grill into the fire, which expanded at intervals because of burning it. All
around the hut spread the aroma of roasting duck, as the man and his son–seated on the warm
and dry, dung plastered floor on opposite sides of the fire–feasted on its soft meat. Just next to
the fire, was the puppy, coiled in a small depression of ash. It had a skin strap press ing a bunch
of ground, mixed herbs against its wounds.