Reader's Fiction: The dog ate my homework
September 13, 2017 | 7:46 PM
by Siddhant Suri Dhawan
I had once again paid the price for my indiscriminate honesty, a virtue that has landed me in similar predicaments on numerous occasions.

Her lynx eyes bulged, nearly popping out of their sockets. Her face contorted and assumed a horrible form. She breathed fire like a dragon and her eyes impaled my soul. She grew two inches taller and stared down at me in absolute condemnation. I began preparing my ears for the assault they were about to receive. “Where in the world is your assignment?” she blared. The windows of the classroom quivered.

I felt faint, my palms turned sweaty and I did my very best to speak but all that came out was a mouse-like squeak. I mustered up the little courage I had and managed to produce five intelligible words, “My dog ate my homework.” The petrified class now broke into raucous laughter and my friends squealed with delight. A vein bulged at the corner of Ms Flifernackel’s forehead. It looked like it could burst any second, spewing blood all over the classroom.

I had once again paid the price for my indiscriminate honesty, a virtue that has landed me in similar predicaments on numerous occasions. She shrieked louder than a banshee and her face grew paler than the Canterville spectre. “Seriously, is that the best you can do? Explain yourself.” I dutifully began narrating the incident. “The culprit is a three-year-old American Cocker Spaniel that goes by the name Bingo. This particular canine is synonymous with notoriety.

Petrifying the neighbour’s cat, disappearing a dinner for ten, destroying the household tapestry and chewing my father’s Rolex being his most distinguished misdeeds. He is a terror like no other and destruction is his middle-name. Since his arrival, trainer after trainer attempted to tame the beast but all failed abysmally, certifying him absolutely untrainable.

After dutifully completing my assignment on time, I made the imprudent decision of leaving it on my bed unattended. On my return from my stroll to kitchen, I found the pooch clutching the assignment with his devilish teeth, waving it about in the air. Was he mocking me? The audacity.

I pounced on the trouble-maker but fell flat on my face. I raced him all the way to the front yard but was no match for his tiny legs as he slid between the untrimmed bushes. He emerged an hour later from one of the bushes at the far-end of the garden without my 30-page assignment in mouth. He trotted past me with a self-important, snooty air and retired to his bed. I rummaged through the bush hoping to find my assignment in one piece only to discover that it had been shredded into a thousand little fragments that were covered in a thick, goopy layer of Bingo’s saliva.”

I was engrossed in the narration of the incident and the class had listened to me keenly. Ms Flifernackel’s expression no longer displayed contempt, but a blend of amusement and understanding. She was just short of smiling, but restrained herself.

She then put on a stern face and said, “Hand it in first thing tomorrow.” I protested at the ridiculous deadline but she continued, completely ignoring my plea. “Write an essay. Oh, and title it, ‘The dog ate my homework”. I sat down with a smile on my face. This assignment should be a walk-in-the park.

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(The writer is Grade XII student of Indian School Ghubra)

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