He had just chased a couple of pigs an hour ago and now was bored. Life was getting a bit boring for him. Hardly anything ever happened in his neighbourhood anymore. Even the postman seldom had letters to deliver nowadays. “Damn internet and email”, cursed the dog to himself. Barking at cars didn’t make any sense. Oh well! At least there were a few pigs to keep him entertained. Just then he saw a stranger. “Ah”, thought the dog. Instinctively he wanted to bark and chase the stranger away but he just remembered how hungry he was, and if he knew well, travellers always carry some snacks with them. So, he decided to act friendly.
“Hello”, said the dog, greeting the stranger as he waged his tail. The stranger ignored him.” Ï haven’t seen you around these parts before, will you stay for long or are you just passing by?” the dog asked. The stranger was a bit annoyed. He wasn’t in the mood to talk to anyone that wasn’t his equal. So the stranger continued to ignore the dog. “If you are looking for someone I could help you. I can be your guide. I know this neighbourhood pretty well”, said the dog.
“look here you stupid dog”’ the annoyed stranger said, “you cant help me, after all you are just a dog and I am searching for something that dogs like you will never be able to help with”.
“Oh okay, and what is it that you are searching for?” asked the dog. By now the stranger realised that he wasn’t going to get the dog off his back. So the stranger sat under a tree and said to the dog, “these are far too complex matters you stupid dog. You will not understand. I have travelled far and I have travelled wide in search of some answers”.
“Why?” asked the dog, “haven’t you heard of Google?”
“How dare you, you stupid dog. Are you making fun of my intelligence? Is that what you are trying to do?”The dog was really hungry and he was hoping the stranger was carrying some food. So he decided to act humble. “No, oh great one, how can I make fun of your intelligence? After all, I am just a stupid dog”.The stranger was pleased to hear that.
“But I am curious to know what are the questions to the answers that you seek?” asked the dog.
The stranger looked far away into the horizon, crest fallen, and almost sheepishly answered the dog, “what is life? What is life’s relationship with death? What is the universe? Space? What is my relationship with the universe? Who am I?” the dog was confused. He scratched the back of his ear with his hind leg, “who are you? Who are you?”….Hmm! And you travelled far and wide to find out who you are?”
“Yes, it’s a journey I had to undertake, cause if I don’t find the answers I will always consider myself just as stupid as you”.
“Journey? what journey?” asked the dog.
“you see stupid dog, I have to travel a lot. Read a lot to find and form associations with my life, to make connections with my inner self. The journey is internal. It’s inside my labyrinth”.
“laby….what?” asked the confused dog.
“listen you stupid dog, don’t you know anything? How stupid you creatures are, you sit about all day doing nothing”, shouted the angry stranger.
"well, that’s not true”, replied the dog.
“what’s not true?” asked the stranger.
“I don’t sit about all day doing nothing”.
“oh yeah! what do you do besides bothering learned strangers?”
“I chase pigs, sometimes the postman, but because of internet and email…”
“SHUT UP YOU STUPID DOG. How dare you insult me”
“But really its great fun”
“chasing pigs across the fields.. its great fun, you should try it sometimes”.By now the stranger was fuming. He took a couple of moments to compose himself. The yoga technique he learnt up in the Himalayas finally came in handy. Twenty seconds of silence later, the now calm stranger looked at the dog and said,”you see you stupid dog it is a waste of energy for me to talk to someone as stupid as you. You… a dog, you don’t even know what a labyrinth is?”
“please oh great one, tell me what the laby…laby… thing is all about”, pleaded the dog.
The stranger was sure this would be difficult but he gave it a shot. “you see, stupid dog, its like lots of passages…mysterious, you have to get to the centre of it”
“what’s there in the centre? interrupted the dog”.
“SHUT UP STUPID DOG” the stranger shouted and almost immediately started counting one to twenty backwards: the yoga technique.In those twenty seconds the dog was wondering if there were pigs in the centre. What fun it would be chasing pigs through mysterious passages. Oh! That would be life. He was beginning to like this’ laby’’ thing or whatever it’s called. He could almost visualise the frightened pig faces running for their lives. Just then he was woken from his fantasy by the stranger.
“you see stupid dog I am in control of my anger. Its something I learnt from a sadhu In the Himalayas, but that’s a different story. As I was saying, the labyrinth, mysterious passages.. spiral.’
“what is spiral?” asked the dog.
“something round in circles.. always round”, answered the stranger.
“AH! Shouted the dog with a big grin on his face, “you mean like my tail?” :-)
THE END--- atleast for now