It was a bad day for my brother. He had got a mouthful from my father for playing cricket all the time and not studying. My brother was in a bad mood and I felt sorry for him as I also used to get a good scolding from my father from time to time. I was wondering how to pacify my brother and change his mood. It was mid- afternoon and my father were having a snooze. Everybody knew better than to disturb him when he was taking his afternoon nap. But not the neighborhood tomcat.
He and another torn were having a free for all in our front yard. There was much hissing and spitting and growling and meowing. Between the two of them, they created such a racket that it awakened my father. He came charging out of the bedroom in such a fury that I hid behind a large tree.
He rushed out to the front yard shouting abuses at the hapless cats which had abandoned their fight mid-way and were sprinting for dear life. He chased them all the way round the house to the back yard. One of the cats had made his escape. The other was about to jump over the compound wall and get away.
Beyond the compound wall was a neighbor’s house. My father was desperate. He looked around for a weapon and saw an old badminton racket lying on the ground. Without thinking, he bent down and picked it up and in one smooth motion hurled it at the petrified cat, which seemed to say a quick prayer and jumped.
My father paused a second and then went gingerly up to the wall and peered down. Meanwhile I had also been following him and the action at a safe distance. If my father expected to see an unconscious or dead cat, he was mistaken. What he saw was a very angry neighbor who was massaging a big bump on his bald head.
For perhaps the first time in many years, my father got an earful. He slunk back to the house, muttering horrid oaths against the cat. After he had gone back to sleep, I tiptoed into my brother’s room and re-enacted the whole scene.
Then both of us rolled about, laughing like hyenas. For many days after that we couldn’t help giggling whenever we remembered the incident.
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