By C.E. Pereira
Chapter 5 – The Dog, the Cow and the two Fowls
LIZA’s days were filled with play-time, studying and chores when she was not at school. Her two brothers had the same time-table too. The growing up years of Liza and her two brothers were filled with adventures, a childhood of precious memories treasured into adulthood.
Some memories of childhood will bring laughter and happy thoughts. Then there are the ones that can make an adult embarrass to remember.
Liza had her share of misadventures that she gets teased by her two brothers whenever they can.
Her misadventures involves a dog, a cow and two fowls. Except for cats, the animal kingdom seem to have a bone to pick with Liza.
Liza was like any little kid when it came to animals. She squeals, jumps up and down not able to contain her excitement. This trigger the same reaction in the animal, making it as excited as the little Liza.
Let’s start our story with the Dog. It was a black stray dog. A big black stray dog that someone decided to give the name Heaven. But who that someone was no one can remember.
Heaven was a friendly and mild-mannered dog. And our drama starts when Liza spots Heaven for the first time. Heaven senses Liza’s excitement. Wagging his tail he streaks towards the little girl.
He jumps up placing his front paws on Liza’s chest which causes Liza to lose her balance and fall down.
She tries to push the dog off her but being a big fellow it was impossible. Liza as usual starts to panic, the dog then starts barking at her.
Liza uses all her strength to give one big push, the big dog is off her chest.
With lightning speed little Liza scrambles to her feet and takes off running towards home, Heaven at her heals.
Lots of the neighbourhood community saw Liza streaking past them with Heaven happily bounding behind her.
Liza reached home screaming for her Mummy. She runs into the house, Heaven right behind her. Not knowing what to do, she jumps unto the dining room table and stands in the middle of the table.
Heaven kept jumping up and down; happy barks, his nose trying to sniff the little girl. But Liza was terrified. She thought the dog wanted to chew her to bits.
With all the commotion being made, it wasn’t long before her parents was in the midst of an uncontrollable excited dog and a hysterical little girl.
Daddy was her hero that day. He caught Heaven by the cuff of his neck and led him out of the house. She told her Daddy that it was the dog’s fault.
But then her Daddy scolded her gently saying, “Liza, don’t blame the dog. He thought you wanted to play with him. All your excitement made him excited too.”
And Daddy was no more the hero of the day.
To make matters worst, her two brothers were laughing their heads off. What an embarrassing moment.
Soon the whole neighbourhood was talking about why Liza was being chased by Heaven.
Then there were those who asked, “Did you see Liza running like a gazelle?”
The worst was, “Did you hear Liza shrieking like a banshee?”
And the reply was always “Why?”
Then with laughter the story about Liza and Heaven was told and kept growing and changing as each one added their version of what they saw.
Till today Liza feels like a total idiot whenever she remembers the day when she caused a big black dog to chase her right into the house and unto the dining room table.
Our next tale leads us down a narrow path to the cow. A normal brown cow.
It was noon and hot. Liza was on her way home from school. She was hungry and the walk back home was taking forever.
She started thinking about what was for lunch. All her favourite food kept popping into her mind – Chicken curry with potatoes, fried tofu with stuffing and on and on.
This made her hungrier than ever and the urgent need to hurry home for lunch.
While walking faster, she began to feel thirsty, adding to the urgency to reach home soon.
Reaching the path leading to the bridge she’d have to cross over the river, she began to feel happy as she was almost home.
The path was narrow. On one side was the fencing to some houses. On the other side of the path was a 4-foot drop onto the river bank.
Liza skipped along the path. She could see the bridge just ahead of her and crossing that bridge was a cow.
But instead of turning around and getting off the path, Liza continued until she was face to face with the brown cow.
And up close the cow looked huge and formidable, especially its two horns.
Liza realized too late that no way could she inch her way around the cow, the path was too narrow for both of them.
Liza turned to run back the way she came.
But before you could say Jack Robinson, the brown cow butted Liza on her bottom and she was lifted into the air.
For a moment everything was in slow motion. Then Liza was falling back to earth and landing onto the river bank.
She sat there stunned for a moment. And thank her lucky stars she did not land in the water for she could not swim.
The brown cow did not even bat an eye. It just continued lumbering along the path on its way to where ever it was going to.
Liza got up, dusted the sand from her rear and scrambled up the river bank. She shot the cow a nasty look, then head held high she raced home.
She didn’t realise that by telling her tale about her encounter with the brown cow her brothers would burst out laughing instead of being sympathetic.
They thought it was too funny. Their little sister being butted by a cow was too funny for words.
And they kept asking silly questions like:
“How did you land on the river bank?”
“Did you ask the cow its name?”
“Which was more painful – being butted or landing on you rear?”
In a huff Liza marched off to have her lunch not bothering to answer their silly questions.
And her two brothers were no more the hero for that day.
Let us go on to the next tale and meet feathered creatures: primarily two fowls that attacks Liza.
It was noon and Liza was on her way to school. She did not like the afternoon session of being cooped up in a classroom learning mathematics.
She walked to school everyday, even when it rains. School was only a 30 minute walk away.
But what she hated most was passing a dilapidated farmyard that had lots of hens and fowls roaming around. And add these to turkeys, geese and ducks. All feathered creatures and a constant nightmare to her.
And to make matters worse these feathered creatures were not cooped up, how exasperating.
Liza had a phobia of feathers. Her two brothers knew about it. They frightened her with the feather duster every time they could. Her mother had to get rid of the feather duster.
The two little monkeys found other ways of terrifying their little sister. That’s what siblings do to each other, I guess.
Once, they pulled out the feather from a turkey. Liza saw what they were doing and took flight in the other direction.
But the farmyard was her worst nightmare. You couldn’t see whether the feathered creatures were inside or outside. There were too many shrubs around the fence.
But this path was a shortcut to school. If she took the other route it would take her an extra 15 minutes to reach school.
So each day she faced her phobia heads on. For each day that she was lucky, there were two when she was not.
Throughout her schooldays, she encountered these feathered creatures.
The adventures or misadventures with the two fowls at the farmyard made Liza face her nightmare heads on.
Now, as an adult she can look back and not feel that dreaded fear of feathers.
These two fowls and sometimes the geese and turkey seem to sense that Liza feared them.
She could never outrun them. She got pecked a couple of times.
And the farmer seem to find amusement in her dilemma.
Each time she passed the farmyard, she was on flight mode, ready to run as fast as possible.
Today was no different. She walk as softly as she could, trying not to kick any gravel, thus making any loud noise.
But those two fowls had some in-built radar that could sense Liza coming.
In that split-second Liza always froze, then adrenalin kicks in and she was of running as if demons were on her heals.
To her, these two fowls were demons from hell. They always chased her to the end of the fence then coolly they will turn around and walk up the path back to the farmyard.
Slowly Liza learned to stand her ground and face these two fowls. Instead of running she tried walking fast and turning around and shooing the pests with a stick or an umbrella.
Liza never told anyone of her encounters with the fowls. Each day was a challenge she faced. In a way these fowls kind of cured Liza from her phobia.
She still don’t like feathers but the phobia has vanished never to return. Liza can look back and smile at the memories of her misadventures.
The dog, the cow and the two fowls have a place in the pages of her childhood memories forever. She can picture each slide as clear as if it had happened only yesterday. Embarrassing yet endearing.
Cont: Chapter 6