Apologies for vid failure yesterday...tubular had removed the link as the maker was contravening copyright... heh ho...
Life's a bitch
Life's a bitch
When, after her arrival, Radha was directed by Kaneya and Krishna-ji to find her own part of the ashram to 'hold', she thought they were pointing her to the whole of the bottom corner.
But no. Behind the disused cottages she got a jolt to find herself being abused by a scrawny black bitch.
"Hey, moll, whatya doing here?! This is my space, get out, get out, get out!!!!"
Radha, calm as ever, still had the sense to drop her tail and ears and backed away as far as she could before turning her back and heading to the other side of the grounds.
B2 stood, bristling from neck to tail, mouth open and panting in between barks. She continued shouting at the incomer long after that too-pretty face had disappeared. Wherever had she appeared from? Where were the two guardians who were all the time picking on herself? Once she was certain the black and white model had left her premises she turned and snuggled back down under the mango tree. Not for long though. The pups were way too boisterous now and she had to start weaning them.
She rose again and wandered down to the very back corner of the ashram property. The place where the grounds staff dumped virtually everything and set light to it at regular intervals.
This made life interesting for B2. Firstly because often there were some truly juicy food morsels to be had from scavenging the piles before they were burned. Secondly because dodging the smoking hotspots which continued to smoulder for days became both a game and an art. Teaching it to the kids was proving tough. Each batch there was always one at least who just didn't get the lesson. This batch she was lumbered with three firewalkers. They just would not keep off the coals. The constant licking and nursing of burnt paws was wearing on her patience.
"Maybe next time I'll get The One, the dog to lead us all and bring home all the food and I can take a rest…. Who am I kidding? It's us bitches who do all the work round here. The dogs just do the deed then scarper!"
At least that had been true until she had encountered Daddy dog. She'd been foraging outside the walls, down the hill a bit, when she ran into Daddy Dog. The attraction was immediate. He was a stud and he knew it! When B2 returned to the ashram, he followed her. She wasn't used to this. Usually the dogs just ran off after having their way. This fellow was gorgeous. He was also inclined to stay around, which was just fine with her. That batch of pups early season had proven to be one of her most successful. Four were set free and found their own way. That was a bit of a record.
B2 was already into her 4th season when Radha arrived. Not only that, having mated early, producing one batch in September, she had been able to produce this second batch in January. This second breeding with Daddy Dog had produced good looking kids, but they were idiots, without any of the charm of that first lot from the new suitor.
What is more, in order to stay on these lovely grounds at all, B2 was in a constant state of slink and slide in order to keep the peace with the K's. Krishna was alright if you got him on his own, but that Kaneya… the only reason she was able to stay at all was because her very first breeding was with him only! Then something had happened and he was no longer interested.
That was a shame. She could have been queen of the ashram. Concubine of the conqueror.
B2 shook herself. "You're dreaming again girl. Gotta stop doing the "what if's" and just get on with what you're supposed to do. Breed pups. Feed pups. Hopefully send one or two into the world to fight their own battles."
There was a great squealing and yipping from behind the buildings. She took off to see what they were into this time and got quite a shock. A cobra had taken one of the three siblings. Nothing she could do about that one now, but she had to sort the snake out before it decided to have a go at the other two. Barely taking time to think, B2 bolted at the enemy. It's jaws were still engaged with the already dead pup, so she had no trouble grabbing it behind the head and throttling it. She was surprised at how strong this one was. It was bigger than most she had seen round here and she had to keep at it for what seemed like an eternity before the thing stopped thrashing around.
The two pups came and sniffed at their dead brother. B2 didn't have the energy to do any sympathising. She had become hardened to the loss of babies.
Having too many times observed the staff removing her deceased pups and putting them on the fire heaps, this one she took herself. Grabbing the scruff of its neck one final time, B2 carried it as far into the hottest spot that she could and dropped it. The two remaining numbskulls had followed her and were now complaining about sore paws again.
"Come out of this you two. Come over here and I'll tell you the difference between sticks and snakes…"
Peeking round the corner of the multistory building on the other side of the fire pits, Radha watched the pyre flare up round the little body. She wondered how a mother could just drop her baby and go. Then she looked at B2 and the remaining two. Even for her few short months of life, Radha understood. The living had to be tended.
This was life as a bitch.
© Yamini Ali MacLean