Monday, April 11, 2005

A Little Boy Loses His Dog

For the past month or so, our family dog, Max, was allowed to run free during the day and was kept in the chicken cage at night. He cried for several days about this, but soon became used to it and sat quietly in his cage. I could almost forget about his presence.

Yesterday I noticed that the cage was open, but there was no sign of Max. I walked through the yard cautiously, nervous that he would jump out from somewhere and come after me. When I still didn’t see him by evening, I asked Nigora where he was.

“Faruh went to the market today to try to sell him. But he ended up giving up for free to a lonely, old, single Russian woman.”

She told me that Faruh had paid 120 som for the puppy, so he thought he’d try to make a profit. So he returned to the market to find a buyer. But in the end he chose a good home over money.

“I think he felt sorry for her and sorry for himself. Shavkat told him it would be better to find a good owner for free than to send him with a bad owner who was willing to pay.”

Faruh agreed and sent Max home with the Russian woman. But hours later, Max appeared.

“He somehow found the road,” Nigora said. Even though he’d been kept in a cage, he still wanted to return home. They put him in the car and drove him to the Russian woman’s home.

“She was so nervous and upset. She already had her neighbors out looking for him. She told her neighbors that the boy who gave her the dog was a good boy and she thought he’d bring him back. Once Max was returned to her she was so happy. She said that she wouldn’t eat anything herself. She would give everything she has to the dog.”

Nigora said it was Faruh’s decision to get rid of the dog. But since he was the only one who seemed to enjoy it’s presence, I wondered why he would make such a decision.

“I think that he sensed our reactions to Max. He knew that it made us uncomfortable and he had to respond to that. We promised him that we’d buy him a sheep instead. He can feed it for a couple of months.”

“And then what? Eat it?”

“It’s up to him. If he wants to do business and sell it for a profit, he can do that. If he sells it to us, then we’ll eat it.”

I was impressed. An Uzbek couple raised under the Soviet system both send their 13-year-old to Arabic lessons and teach him how to make a profit.

No comments: