Kumudu was leaving her aunt’s house with a big bag. She was there after a long absence. Although she wanted to come to aunty, she couldn’t do it because of her job. “If my mother was alive I would stay with her every vacation like this,” Kumudu reflected to herself sadly.
Her long skirt was swinging with the blowing wind and her blue eyes wet with tears. She stepped to the shoe rack and tried to control her sadness with wearing her favourite slip-ons. Kumudu turned up her face for aunty and she was hugged and kissed with love. Her mother’s lovely memories were called to mind, and she picked up her bag. When she came to the sand courtyard with eyes downcast, the aunty came with her until the wooden gate to say good bye and to tell her to take care. “Poor motherless daughter,” the aunty said to herself.
Kumudu closed the gate carefully while looking at her aunt’s house. Her loneliness was intensified with hearing the creaking sound of the gate. The gate was also wet from the rain of last night. When she turned to the foot path which led toward the main road through the paddy field, she was smelling jasmine scent borne on the wind. The paddy field was surrounded by highland mountains, the sun was shining and lots of water drops were glistening on the rice leaves, and her soft feet were saturated by dew. She stepped along the path while hearing a sort of music which was coming from the wet slip-ons. Her sad thinking was dispelled for a minute and she tried to control the long skirt from the influence of the wind. In this way she was able to capture the happiness of the small fish in the clear water of the paddy field.
Kumudu got into the main road and stopped at the corner of the bus stop, where there were a few people waiting for the intercity bus. Some were gathering and talking gossip and others were looking at the end of the road. Someone was reading a newspaper to dull the boredom. A woman was sitting with her child and she had drunk some alcohol early in the morning. That lady’s head moved up and down senselessly, and her daughter was hanging onto her hand. That little baby looked now and again at her mother’s face with an innocence smile, but the mother did not care about her cute baby daughter. The baby looked at every face at which she could smile, and did so again and again. Kumudu tried to talk with the little baby, but the mother went from the bus stop, which was only a seat to her, with a zigzag route while whispering some bad words. The baby went with her mother while looking back smiling and waving.
“Who is that crazy lady? She did not even care about her baby daughter,” said Kumudu to herself with irritation. She looked at others but nobody took any notice. The only thing they wanted to see was the coming of their bus. Kumudu tried to calm down, but thoughts of her mother and the widely differing manifestations of motherhood asserted themselves.
She looked around the bus stop and saw an empty bench. The wooden seat was old and it was not comfortable. Although it was wet from the rain, she did not care about it. She pulled out a paper from the bag and lay it on the bench and sat down.
“Ohhh my legs are hurting me. Fortunately this bench was saved for me.” She was absorbed in her own thoughts as her eyes fell on a lot of ashes behind the bus stop. Someone had burned dry leaves and papers at night. Suddenly She saw the pile was moving.
“Why ? How can it occur ? ” She stood up and drew close to it.“ It’s a dog !” She was amazed and realized that It was a white dog but completely coloured by ashes. “It must have slept on it the whole night because of the cold,” she thought.
Its face was not happy and it had a sad look. It pricked up dirty ears when it heard the sound of a vehicle on the road. Its tail was not furry and not beautiful. Although it was falling asleep, suddenly it chattered with some fear and woke up. Kumudu was so sad about it and gave a few biscuits for it to eat. But it did not eat whatever she gave it, and deflected its face. Its half-opened eyes were wet by tears and dirty with mucus. As well It was thin because of not eating. The dog looked once at Kumudu with sad eyes and she felt that It was a request for something other than food from her.
Kumudu came back to the bench and closed her eyes for a moment. She couldn’t close the eyes for long, because a red-coloured bus passed the bus stop speedily and it did not stop. Suddenly the dog stood up and followed the bus. It barked as loud as it possibly could. It was wailing miserably, and did it again and again, but only for red-coloured buses. There was nobody to stop the poor dog and someone laughed at its unusual activity. Finally it came back to its place and lay down in a circle. It murmured slowly and hid its face between its legs.
The bus came, and Kumudu got in to it and sat down on the seat which was in the back part. Now She could see the dog through the shutter clearly. It was sleeping and chattering as before. Kumudu was worried and thought about its strange behavior. She turned away and closed the eyes to remove that sad vision.
“My dear daughter, are you sad about that dog?” Asked an old lady who sat down nearby Kumudu and touched her with a cool hand of love. She was looking at Kumudu with big open eyes. She had a wrinkled face and her curly uncombed hair which had become a gray colour, and her hand was trembling with age.
“Unlucky dog. She has lost her puppy to a bus accident and since that day it has done this unusual thing,” said the old lady again looking at the end of the road. Kumudu was amazed about the dog and her eyes were wet with love. She looked at the dog through the shutter again and again until the bus departed from the stop, wondering if her own attachment to her dead mother was just as silly as the bitch’s inability to forget its dead child.
Author Notes: Attachment should be examined to see if they, like the dog for its dead child, are futile and so wrongly directed energy which should be redirected to constructive mental projects