A horse, a dog and 3cows

By Julia Fernandes

July 18, 2011


This incident happened in the year 2002. I was working atNariman Point -- Mumbai’s premier business district. One evening, as I wasstanding at the bus stop waiting to catch a bus for Churchgate station, Inoticed a horse-driven carriage coming along. With nothing much to do, I keptmarveling at the horse and the horse, too, was looking at me. We both lockedeyes with each other for almost eight to ten seconds. As the horse drew nearer,suddenly, the horse changed its direction and started trotting towards me.Startled, the owner pulled the reins at the right time and guided the horse towalk straight. As the horse was passing by me, the bewildered owner threw a what-did-you-do-to-my-horsekind of look towards me while I just put my head down.


I did not feed the horse nor did I pet it. I did not smileat the horse. I did nothing, except just look at the horse -- giving him some ofmy attention. That miniscule attention was enough for the horse to change histracks and veer towards me. I know love is a universal language understood byall. What I did not know was that the smallest amount of attention could draw ahorse with whom you have never bonded before towards you. If an animal canrespond to attention from a rank stranger, how much more is that animal capableof responding to love?


In the year 1995 we had shifted to Virar. I was still in mylast year of college. My colony has quite a fair number of stray dogs. Everyday I would feed one particular dog. Over the months, the dog grew fond of meand vice versa. I was sad when I learnt that this dog has a serious diseasethat left him thin and gaunt. From the terrace of my building, I would feedthis dog some biscuits once in a while. He would sit in one obscure corner allday long. One day I was walking towards my building when I saw an unfamiliar doghappily running towards me. Scared, I shooed him away and entered my building.Only when I reached my home, I realized that this was the same dog that I usedto feed every day.


The dog had become so thin that I could not recognize thedog when I came face-to-face with him. I had gone so used to watching him fromthe terrace of my building. I ran to the terrace but I could not find him. Nextday I learnt the dog had died. This dog that was fighting a fatal illness kepthimself alive with the hope that maybe he will see me face-to-face and I willpet him or feed him as usual. He lived on that hope, staving off death. He gavein to death only after he ensured he saw me. Till today, I cannot forget thelook of disappointment the dog had when I shooed him away. His hope was only tosee me.


Few days back I was sitting in an autorickshaw headingtowards Virar station when a heartwarming sight greeted me. Three cows weresitting bang in the middle of the road serving as natural speed breakers. Theymade themselves so comfortable on the road busy chewing their cud, totallyunmindful of the vehicular traffic. For me, that sight was the most powerfulstatement of faith -- three cows reclaiming the road as their own and sitting safelyon it knowing that there is somebody up there to protect them. Every singlevehicle had to maneuver around them. None of the three cows were harmed.


These cows decide to sit on the road not knowing that anytime a large vehicle can come and run over them. We thinkwe own this world, but these three cows showed it’s the Big Boss -- our greatGod who really owns every corner of this world. And all creatures are free touse God’s resources. And that’s exactly what these three cows did.


Animals cannot talk and express like us but they can feelevery emotion and there is much we can learn from them. Just as I learnt thatfaith means three cows sitting in the middle of the road, hope means a dogpostponing death just to see the person who liked him, and love means when a horsegets drawn to a rank stranger and decides to change tracks. All the threeredefined faith, hope and love in their own unique ways!