Volume 17 - Issue 08
August 2019
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Posted on: Aug 30, 2019

DOGMODOO, WHERE ARE YOU?

Mrs Radhika Brahmanandam

Part 2

 

Anand a twelve year old school boy meets his good mood elf Dogmodoo for the first time as he gets ready for school one day. In a great mood he gets to school only to realize he has forgotten his maths homework note book. Even as Dogmodoo vanishes, his good mood too evaporates. What happens next? Read on to find out.

 

Dogmodoo, where are you?” thought Anand fervently, looking around.  The little elf was nowhere to be seen.  Fighting back tears, Anand bent over his school bag. Jake patted his back supportively.

Closing his eyes for a minute, Anand muttered a silent prayer.  He straightened up and unconsciously, lifted his chin.  Turning to Jake, he said, “I will go meet Salim sir now, apologise for my mistake and explain that I will bring in the assignment tomorrow.  If he still chooses to detain me during Sports hour, I guess I will just have to go with it.  Though I did do my homework, I have been careless in forgetting to fetch it to school.” 

Jake nodded and smiled at him. “I will come with you, Anand.  Let’s do it now.”

As they walked up the corridor to the Staff Room, Anand felt calmer.  Just as they entered the Staff Room to meet the Maths teacher, he spotted Dogmodoo quietly slipping in with them.

Dogmodoo, Where Were You?

“I can’t believe Sir was so kind!” Anand walked out in a daze.  Folding his arms across the chest, the old teacher had listened unsmilingly as Anand apologised haltingly for his mistake.  Salim sir knew Anand to be a diligent student who had always worked hard and well. 

“Hmmm, ok!  Be sure to bring it in tomorrow!” he said gruffly, turning away and bending over his books. 

As Anand walked out of the Staff Room, he looked at Jake in relief.  There was still five minutes to go before the first bell.  Excusing himself, he went to the washroom to quickly splash some water on his face and freshen up before school started.   The washroom was empty. 

Except for Dogmodoo. 

Dogmodoo looked smilingly back at him from the top of the towel rack where he was cheekily seated.

“Dogmodoo, where did you go just when I needed you?” asked Anand, a little crossly.  

“I didn’t go anywhere, Anand - you made me disappear.  When you panicked about forgetting your homework and started imagining all kinds of horrible things that would happen to you, you made me disappear.  You see, worry and fear of the future makes a good mood vanish!” answered Dogmodoo seriously.

“Oh!” Anand nodded thoughtfully.  “But then, you appeared just as I was entering the staffroom...?” 

“Aah, that is when you called me back”, Dogmodoo smiled broadly. 

“But, I didn’t call you,” Anand looked up in puzzlement.  “I had just decided to accept responsibility for my mistake and apologise to the Maths teacher.”

“That is exactly how you called me back.  You checked your fear with honest introspection.  You courageously decided to own up to Salim sir, feeling genuinely sorry – that is just what I needed to come back again!  Thank you Anand!  I love being with you!”  Dogmodoo threw his skinny arms around Anand’s neck and gave him an elf hug. 

Anand hugged his little friend back, his eyes shining. “I love it when you are with me, too! Guess we will have to go - the school bell will ring anytime now”, he said, rushing out of the washroom happily.

The Cricket Team

Anand, Jake and their other friends crowded around the notice board outside the school cricket grounds. It was Sports Hour and the boys were excitedly trying to read the list of the Under 13 cricket team of the school. 

“Jake, your name is right there – look!” cried Anand excitedly.  Dogmodoo merrily jumped up and down next to him. 

“Yours isn’t there though, Anand!”  said a voice, mockingly.  At the sound of the sneering voice, pffft!!!  Dogmodoo vanished again.  

Dogmodoo, where are you?” thought Anand anxiously as he turned to see Rakesh smirking scornfully at him. Rakesh was his classmate. His greatest pleasure seemed to be in taunting Anand. Though the same age as him, Rakesh had suddenly started growing that summer and was at least a good two inches taller than Anand now. 

“Look, I am there – wicketkeeper!” gloated Rakesh, pointing at the board. “You know what, pint, you need to practise a bit more. Leave the game to those who know how to play. Right, Jake?” He gave a hefty nudge to Jake. 

Jake looked back at him unsmilingly. Ignoring Rakesh, he quietly put a supportive arm around Anand and with a gentle pull, dragged him away from the crowd. “We have another five minutes to go, Anand.  Let’s dribble the football a bit”, he cried, picking up a football that was lying in the corner of the ground. The two boys started kicking the ball around and were soon joined by a few more boys. 

Five minutes later, the bell rang.  The boys rushed to the water cooler, happy, hot and perspiring after the vigorous exertion. As Anand shot a grateful look at his friend for his loyal support, Dogmodoo waved back cheerfully at him from Jake’s shoulder.  “A good friend can bring back your good mood”, thought Anand happily.
 
“Congratulations, Jake! You go and make our team win! At least 5 wickets ok?” he said, as he gave Jake a high five. Dogmodoo jumped over from Jake’s shoulder to Anand’s, and gave him a little hug again.

“A good friend can make you spot your good mood again, but it’s your own sportive attitude that makes it return to you!” he whispered into Anand’s ears.  Anand gave a happy grin.  Life was good.  Next year, he too would make it to the team.  And Jake and he together would make their team win!

The Bicycle

As Anand and Pramod raced back indoors from the school bus, they spotted some distinctive footwear outside the door:  their uncle, Raj’s!
Pushing the door excitedly open, they rushed into the house. Their uncle was sitting on the sofa in the living room chatting to their mother. 

Pramod sprinted right across and leapt onto his lap, almost knocking him over.  “Raju mama!” he yelled in excitement, as he gave him a bear hug.  Anand gave him a warm hug too, though a little more self-consciously.  Soon they were all excitedly chattering away. Through the corner of his eye, Anand could spot Dogmodoo performing a happy jig on the little side table! 

The boys loved their uncle Raju – he was always so kind and had some nice gifts for them every time he visited. His shiny bald head and double chin, the kindly twinkle in his eyes and the little round stomach that bulged out like a warm cushion when he sat down – the boys loved everything about their ‘Raju mama’.  When Raj finally caught his breath after the excited chattering of the two boys, he reached out and gave a cute little package to Pramod. Tossing an amused glance at Anand who was waiting with barely concealed impatience for his turn, Raj gently pushed him out to the garden. 

There, leaning against the garage door was a sparkling new bicycle! Anand could hardly contain his excitement. Forgetting that he was now a very ‘mature, to-be-thirteen’ year old, he gave a little jump, punching the air with both his fists as he cried “Yessss”.  He rushed to the shiny new pale green cycle. “Wow, Mama, a mountain bike!  Thank you, thank you! Oh, this is just perfect for the hilly roads here!” He clapped his hands in his excitement.  Dogmodoo was already seated on the handlebar of the new bike, looking super excited too! 

Hearing a low buzz, he turned around. Hovering just above their heads was a brand new battery operated red drone helicopter toy. Pramod was holding the remote in his hands and merrily guiding it just past their heads. “Raju mama!” screamed Pramod in glee.  “This is a super-duper toy!  Look, it can even hover mid-flight!” 

It was an amazing toy, Anand could see. The tiny helicopter blades spun almost noiselessly over a gleaming red body resting on the shiny new stilts.  Wait, there were two sets of blades: co-axial blades too!  A trainer remote controlled helicopter, no less!

As he watched his uncle kneel down and explain the many fantastic features of this amazing toy to his fascinated younger brother, Anand suddenly felt his excitement drain. Raju mama had never brought him that toy when he was Pramod’s age. Pramod was always just that little more special to everyone. 

Pffft!!!  Dogmodoo vanished again, from his cheeky perch on the handlebar.

Dogmodoo, where are you?” wondered Anand as he quietly pulled out his bicycle and rolled it onto the street.

 

Why Did Dogmodoo Vanish Again?

Read On...

Part 1 | Part 3

 

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