The old man lived all by himself in a tiny house at the corner of the street. He had a smiley round face and walked with a slight limp. Whenever he saw Mrs. Andrews pass by, he’d tip his hat and greet her with a wide smile. Whenever he’d see Mr. Iyer’s children, he’d stop by and give them chocolates, much to their delight. No wonder all his neighbours – children as well as adults – liked him!
One day, he was running some errands around the house when a little doggie wandered inside the gate. It was a golden retriever and was just 6 months old. When he saw the old man, he got startled! But the old man only smiled and gently went closer to the doggie saying, “here, c’mere!”. The doggie saw that the old man was friendly and immediately started wagging its tail. He liked making friends!
The old man petted him and the doggie wagged his tail even more vigorously! After a few minutes, the old man said to the doggie, “Alright, I’m going to continue running these errands. It was nice meeting you, little doggie! Run along now”. The doggie gave the old man a quick lick and ran away.
The next morning, the old man was going to the grocer’s and who do you think came bounding up to him? The little doggie of course! The old man was happy to see him and said, “How are you, little fella?” as he bent down to stroke his furry head. The doggie wagged his tail and walked alongside the old man his tongue hanging out in a broad smile. He liked this old man!
The old man went into the grocer’s. The doggie actually sat down right outside the shop, patiently waiting for the old man to come out. The old man bought a pack of dog treats. As soon as he stepped out of the shop, he gave the doggie that had waited so patiently for him a treat. The doggie was very happy and gave the old man a lick! He really did love the old man! The old man and the doggie walked back home together feeling like the best friends ever.
From that day onwards, the doggie would accompany the old on his morning walks. They both enjoyed it very much! The old man grew fonder and fonder of his loyal, cute, happy companion! It was a strange friendship and very beautiful to see.
One morning, the old man stepped out of his house for his customary morning walk and found that the little doggie wasn’t waiting for him outside the house. He furrowed his brows, “I wonder why he isn’t here today. Maybe he’ll join me on the way!”.
After about an hour when he returned to his house, there was still no doggie to be seen. He grew worried. What had happened to his furry friend? All day long, he kept a lookout for the doggie. Maybe he would turn up at some point! But no doggie showed up the whole day.
The next morning, he stepped out to again find no dog waiting for him. He felt extremely worried now. He thought in an alarmed voice, “Oh I hope nothing happened to the little fella! I’m going to look for him. What if he’s hurt?”. He started looking for the little doggie in every street in the neighbourhood. He asked passers-by if they’d seen a stray 6-month old golden retriever anywhere. No one had. After three hours of looking around, he came back, crestfallen. He hoped and hoped that the little guy was alright.
The next morning he went to the grocer’s, this time not hoping to see the doggie. He felt rather lonely without his furry friend by his side. As he finished shopping and made to leave the grocer’s, he heard wild barking and something furry threw itself at him! It was the little doggie! A little boy came running after him, saying, “Mars! Come back here! Mars!”
The little boy said to the old man, “Sorry, sir. My dog ran away and jumped on you! Sorry if he scared you!”
“Oh it’s alright, son! I know this doggie. Mars, did you call him? He’s been friends with me for more than a week now. I didn’t see him the last few days and was really worried about how he’d been. I’m glad that he’s okay!”
“Oh Mars was missing for a few days! He wandered off from the dog park which is four blocks from here. Three days ago, our gardener saw him and brought him back to us!”, said the little boy.
“Now it all makes sense. Well, Mars is a very nice little doggie. He’s been very friendly to me and kept me company on my morning walks.”, the old man said, smiling fondly at Mars who wagged his tail even more vigorously.
“He really likes you!”, said the little boy. “I’m Michael, by the way. I bring Mars to the park in this neighbourhood every Saturday morning at 8 am. I’d love it if we could meet you then – Mars would really like that!”
“That sounds like a plan”, said the old man, pleased. “Please call me Mr. Walter. I’d be happy to meet Mars and you this Saturday at the park!”.
And thus began a new friendship – between Michael and Walter. Now Mars is very happy that he’s able to play with both his best friends – the old man and the little boy!