While I walked early this morning to look for ideas to write about, I was not aware a stray dog followed me. Usually I brought along a bag of snacks, often lightly fried peanuts, while I munched and mulled at the same time. I guessed the animal hoped that I dropped him some, thus the silent but overt stalking.

When I reached the front end of my unscheduled trip, a few meters from the shallow river, I decided to turn back and head for home. The dark clouds warned of an impending shower so since I did not bring a jacket, I was vulnerable to a sure drenching. I was not baiting any virus to get a hold on to my system. As we say here, “It”s forbidden to get ill.” (Hospitalization costs an arm and a leg, so to speak.)

The dog kept me company till we met a tied carabao blocking our path. I was used to getting around the gentle beast, not disturbing its stationary pose. At that moment, it stared at us without emotion. Problem was the dog had other ideas which I was literally not consulted upon.

Barking. The language was unknown to me but I simply guessed the dog wanted the carabao to move away and let us pass. The carabao held its ground, immobile: he was definitely larger so bullying him would need a larger or fiercer counterpart, say an elephant or a lion.

The dog kept barking, taunting its foe, running forward and then retreating, repeating the motions several times. Still, the carabao would not budge.

I wanted to pass behind the carabao and let them argue their case between them. Besides, if fables were to be believed as true, they would not have problems discussing issues.

I walked slowly, approaching the beast of burden carefully. I did not want it startled: it possessed two long and sharp hooked horns. I was not taking chances.

Probably irked by the dog’s continuous nagging, the carabao changed stance, an aggressive one: head bowed slightly, ready to gore anything on its path.

It started to rain, then heavy clouds decided to unleash everything in one go. All things dry outside were not anymore, including me. I was glad I left my cheap cellular phone at home.

The standoff remained. I felt like a curious spectator, eager to discover who would win the battle of nerves. But, looking at the odds, I bet the dog would prevail.

In one swift motion of its head, the carabao scared the dog, running away with its tail between its legs. I was left motionless for minutes, waiting for the carabao to cool off its temper: I was grateful it was raining.

Okay, I was wrong. I often wished the underdog (pun unintended) would create something of a miracle to defeat a larger opponent. In some instances, this could be true.

In reality though, what happens is not always what we wished for.



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