Junior 2nd Prize Winning Story
“Everybody Needs a Buddy!” by Vida Dilip Asbe, Rustomjee Cambridge International School, India, is the Second Prize winning story in the junior category of the second biannual Short Story Contest 2019.
Everybody Needs a Buddy!
Once, in a small, close-knit village of Vermont, there was an enormous, ancient mansion on a leafy street. In this rather queer mansion, lived Missionary Blythe along with his clan who fostered a pack of dogs. Buddy, the youngest of them, was a Border Collie, which was a very rare breed in Vermont in those days. He held an extremely special place in Missionary Blythe’s compassionate heart. But, on another note, was the mansion’s deceitful gardener, Johnny, who always had an eye on Buddy.
Johnny, who was up to no good, decided to steal Buddy and sell him to a wealthy farmer to earn a small fortune. So, in the dead of a spring night, he stealthily snuck Buddy out of the mansion and past the ignorant guards right under their noses. Then, the vile Johnny, set Buddy in an outrageously cramped crate and hastily drove to an affluent farmer. Vroom! They sped past tons of farms and stout brick houses before they reached their destination at the crack of dawn. Johnny had made up his mind to betray the farmer with his cruel falsehoods. On reaching the vast farm, he fervently said, “Take him sir! He’s all yours. He pulls his own weight and is not spoon-fed too”. The farmer who was convinced at this testimony, did not slack even a bit to purchase Buddy for an exorbitant sum of money.
That spiteful day on, Buddy’s world turned upside-down. In place of being offered four scrumptious meals a day, he survived on morsels, instead of loving pats, he frequently received hard blows from a whip. Consequently, he had turned as pale as a ghost and his ribs stuck out. Despite these hardships, he was vigilant and was relentlessly looking for a chance to escape the forbidding farmer’s clutches. Mercifully, Buddy’s patience paid-off soon.
One sunny day, the farmer was awfully weary due to the week’s work. “Phew! I must take a cat-nap”, grumbled the farmer. He cleared-up the barn and wandered off to have a nap. Little did he know that his ‘short, quick nap’ would cost him a great deal. It had absolutely slipped out of his mind that he had left the barn door unlocked. In a flash, Buddy scored to this and bounded like a streak of lightning out of the barbed door that had captivated him for so long. He sprinted into the lush green pastures and enchanting woodlands. In Buddy’s haste to taste freedom again, he had quite forgotten that he was now as weak as a kitten. After a while, Buddy’s head started spinning and his knees shook. He soon gave way and collapsed due to sheer exhaustion.
Just around the corner were some kind-hearted nuns who discovered Buddy. On seeing his skinny body, at the drop of a hat, they resolved to get him alive and kicking. The nuns stood by their word and Buddy looked hale and hearty once again. He was having a good time in the ambience of the modest monastery which seldom reminded him of the mansion. Alas! Being nuns, they simply couldn’t afford to harbor Buddy any longer than a few more weeks. After shedding many bitter tears, on a bright, summer morning, they abandoned him in a local park, where they desperately hoped someone will embrace him as a pet.
At this precise moment, the Andrews, a very warm-hearted family, was trooping in their spacious buggy through the local park. They were looking out for an apt dog to adopt when they spotted Buddy. Thanks to the generous nuns’ care, Buddy was fit as a fiddle, and the Andrews felt an instant connection with him. They felt that he would be the pet they were longing for since ages. “Mum, won’t it be splendid if we could make him one of us?” cried Jane Andrews, aged 10. “Oh! We definitely must”, affirmed Mrs. Andrews. They went over to him and Buddy promptly responded like he was one of the family.
After that fortunate day, Buddy (a.k.a. Jim Andrews) had a happy and energetic life. Despite the scads of relocations, he often missed the missionary’s and the nuns’ love and affection, but never looked back. The fates of the wicked farmer and Johnny, however weren’t too cheerful. The farmer, who was livid upon Buddy’s escape, ruthlessly prosecuted Johnny till eternally. So, we can conclude that whatever you inflict upon others, always bounces back at you!