It’s a new year!!! I’m quite excited because, amidst other things, it’s another opportunity to continue doing what I love – writing good stuff. I promised myself at the beginning of this year to be more consistent and focused, and so I have decided to stick to a compilation of writing prompts released by WordPress. With the guidance of these prompts, I would endeavor to write everyday of this year *straight face*
Most of my works would still be fiction. Please note.
Thank you all for your reads, likes, comments, shares, and criticisms last year, I look forward to 10x that this year!
Tell us about a teacher who had a real impact on your life, either for the better or the worse. How is your life different because of him or her?
I was separated from my birth mom (as we all are) to be sold (given) to a little girl as her birthday present. She just turned 9 and she had coincidentally come out tops in her class. I imagined her grinning at her tired mother and her busy father, ‘I want a dog for my birthday daddy’ and if her mother protested, her dad would have said, ‘She deserves it. My baby was the first in her class o’.
In case you’re still confused, you’re reading this in the voice of a dog – the kind of dog I am does not really matter.
When I was separated from my mother, I was only 2 weeks old. I moved from a house somewhere in Lagos, Mainland to a really comfortable place on the Island. Sharon (the little girl I spoke of earlier) carried me in her arms and spoke words I couldn’t understand. It seemed, though, like she spoke nice words, like the words my mother spoke to me the night before they randomly selected me to be given away. I relaxed myself in her embrace and just whimpered.
I look back from that time to now and I realize that meeting Sharon was the greatest blessing I ever had.
Apart from the normal training on how to behave myself in public, how to respond to simple words like sit, catch, nod, turn around, stand, etc, how to control my bowel, and so on, she also taught me;
How to love: I don’t remember a single day Sharon hurt me. There were childish times I ate her shoes, her homework or kept stepping all over her (literally). On days like that, she’d look at me (or at the shoe or homework) and just say, ‘This is wrong and you should know that I know that it is. But I forgive you, because you’re my best friend’. If that isn’t love, then I don’t know what is.
How to be tolerant: Sharon has a lot of friends so I had to learn to tolerate a lot of prodding and pushing and stroking and talking and etc. It was hectic.
How to say no: She always says to her friends, ‘No is equal to Yes. Think about it. If you say no to someone, you’re actually saying yes to yourself and vice versa.’
How to live with the truth of who you are: I remember one day, Sharon stooped down, held my head in her hands and said, ‘Thank you for barking and not roaring. You’re not a lion and so you know not to roar. Thank you for teaching me to be comfortable in my voice.’
How to welcome help: Even when I fell terribly ill last month, Sharon still let me assist her in cleaning her room and moving things around. It made me feel useful!
How to live and enjoy your own company: When she turned 13 some weeks back, she made us run round the compound 13 times, drink 13 glasses of water, call 13 people to simply greet them, and dance to the 13th song on her phone (‘Ed Sheeran’s ‘Afire Love’)
How to die: I’m waiting at the Vet Clinic for what humans call ‘Rainbow Bridge’. That is, I am to be put down. That is, they are going to kill me… to help me. I am four years old and I have lived a good life but now, I am very sick. Sharon is stroking my fur and trying not to cry but I can hear through the holes in her EarPods; she is listening to ‘Afire Love’
I am happy to have been a pet to this teacher.