Joy comes in the morning

Susan tried to respond to her mother's last sentence.
But she couldn't. She didn't know what to say. "saram ila mole, ichiri nerathe aayi poyi enne ullu" (It's ok daughter, it's just a bit early that's all)

Slowly and deliberately, Susan deviated from the subject and ended the call. Knowing what she had to do, she picked her phone again to dial a familiar number. "I need a train ticket to Cochin as soon as possible. Could you arrange it?" "Lemme see." came the reply and the line went dead. Susan was thankful for this confidant who never asked for explanations at the wrong time.

Susan wasn't good at taming her emotions very well. Neither now, nor before. "Kazhikkan vaayo kunje"  (come to eat child) said Mary chechi from the kitchen. Coming out of her daze, Susan looked at herself in the mirror, tucked away her new, peeking gray's and tried not to think of the coming week.

On her way from the station, Susan tried to think clearly. With the string of disasters at office recently and now this, the morning sky seemed to mirror her state of mind. Chaotic and ready to pour. It was on such a similar day, few years ago, that "she" was bought home and into all of their lives. Not everybody expected that the cute, small and toffee colored bundle would become the center of attention before long. There had been adjustment issues at the start, as not everyone had welcomed her ways easily. But sooner than expected, she won over everybody's heart and they all wanted to make space and time for the new member. Since then, there was never a dull moment. At every home coming, for every time Susan had to leave home, things were a noisy affair. But from now on...

Susan tried to focus on what she could do to help the situation, a task that required her to drop all her plans and be where she wanted to be today. Before she could think of how to present herself, her car turned towards her home where the front door was left open, waiting...expecting...

As Susan stood over the mound in the backyard, she felt a huge sense of loss. She had no words and let her mom, who was standing beside her, do the talking. "I didn't see this coming. She was doing well, healthy and was happy. She had her lunch and went for a nap as usual. When she didn't wake up after a while was when I noticed. But by then..." Susan's mom let her words rest.

As Susan turned away, the sight that met her eyes made her skip a heartbeat for a moment. On looking quizzically at her mother,  her mother replied with a tinge of a smile "I wanted to surprise you when you would come next week. That's what she left us with." As Susan looked again at the surprise, she felt a slow glow of warmth fill inside her. They were by the cow shed, one on top of another, around each other, huddling together. They seemed to be hiding from unknown terrors in the new surroundings, at the same time cuddling together for warmth, and trying to somehow comfort each other during the unforeseen grieving period. With shiny noses, wagging tails and puppy eyes, they were eight in all.

As she approached the litter, Susan silently thanked Toffee for her last parting gift of love and quoted her favorite verse from the Bible - "Weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning"


  1. Nice start! I really thought you were speaking of cows! Still trying to figure out if Susan is you or Evlyn!

    1. LOL!! Will try better next time (if there ever will be another one!) to avoid all ambiguity. It's neither of us man... just a cooked up story!