A dark January night. In the sky even the stars seemed to be shivering. At the edge of his field, underneath a shelter of cane leaves, Halku lay on a bamboo cot wrapped up in his old shawl, shivering. Underneath the cot his friend Jabra the dog lay whimpering with his muzzle pressed into his belly. Neither of them was able to sleep.
HALKU: Jabra, cold? Didn't I tell you , in the house that you could lie in the paddy straw? Then why did you come out here?Now you will have to bear the cold too. You thought that I was coming out here to eat puris and sweets and you came running on ahead of me. Now you can moan all you want.
HALKU: From tomorrow on stop coming with me or you will get cold. We shall get through the night somehow. This is the reward you get for farming. While you do all the hard work somebody else gets the joy of it.
HALKU: You have to put up with just one more night. Tomorrow I'll spread some straw. You won't feel cold.
Halku lay down. Like some kind of witch the cold weather to torment him. When he could no longer bear it he gently picked Jabra up & got him to fall asleep in his lap. The dog's body gave off some kind of stink but Halku, hugging him tight, experienced a happiness he hadn't felt for months. Jabra probably thought that he was in heaven, and in Halku's innocent heart there was no resentment of his smell. He embraced him with the same love and affection he would have felt for a brother. He was not crippled by poverty yet. Rather it was as though this singular friendship had opened all the doors to his heart and brilliantly illuminated every atom of it.
Suddenly Jabra picked up the noise of some animal. Springing up, he ran out of the shelter and began to bark. Halku whistled and called several times. But Jabra went on barking.
Bau , bauuuuu
If I go and get a pile of leaves I can make a fire out of them and keep warm. If anybody sees me gathering the leaves in the dead of night they will think it is a ghost.Of course there's a chance some animals hidden in my field waiting, but I can't stand sitting here any longer.