The sun on the horizon had wound up its light and the chirping of the birds faded as they were heading back to their nests. Everything was becoming quieter with a subtle smudge of dusk. But a pleasant restlessness prevailed in ‘Narayan Niwas’ a magnificent mansion in the village. Uma an elderly woman was the owner of the place too, had worked relentlessly throughout the day making preparations for her grandchildren, Arjun and Anjali who were going to spend their winter vacation at her place. Uma was an orderly and religious woman and given to her distinct affection for cows, the newly bought calf in the cowshed who she had lovingly named ‘Gauri’ was the focus of her attention nowadays. As she hustled through the house instructing the domestic help, the thudding sound of shoes outside ended her wait . As she was busy welcoming the kids and enquiring them about their well being, her attention got diverted when she spotted a dog running in. She instantly stood up to shoo it away but Arjun immediately informed her about the new addition to the family Tobby, who was four months old . Uma who had a particular aversion to dogs cut no ice with the idea of the dog staying with them, but eventually she gave in to their pleadings laying some rules for the pet.
In due course of time, Tobby probably sensed Uma’s disliking for him and so he became mindful of not displeasing her by his restlessness. It was particularly so conspicuous in his conduct as he waited for the food outside the kitchen, patiently leaning forward with its tail down or at times when he playfully ran all over the place he would at once slow down on being confronted by the lady and also on bright sunny days while enjoying the cozyness… leisurely rolling over and again on the garden grass , he would at once crouch low in a submissive posture whenever Uma settled in her chair with knitting needles in her hands.
With passage of time Uma grew habitual of Tobby’s presence as she didn’t mind his playfulness around or even when he accompanied her for walk to temple alongwith the kids. At times she provided him a biscuit or two for snacking.
Everything was fine until one morning Tobby came rushing into the kitchen, panting hard and whimpering while Uma was busy cooking. Uma became wary of his unwonted gestures and and she followed him to cowshed where she got dumbstruck to find Gauri collapsed on the ground. She immediately sent her domestic help to call upon veterinary help. The doctor soon arrived and after a brief check-up and treatment, he left assuring Uma of the calf’s recovery. Gauri recovered in short time.
As Arjun and Anjali packed their stuff on their last day, Uma loaded them with lots of homemade eatables alongwith two presents and they were delighted to find hand knit mufflers as they unwrapped the packets.As the two turned around to thank their granny, their happiness knew no bounds on seeing her helping little Tobby to fit into the sweater she had prepared for him. As Tobby snuggled close to her feet,she hugged the kids and said “I thought I should have something for our new family member too.”