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   Sometimes, I take my dog, Bolshoi the Boxer... (November 17, 1986)

Sometimes, I take my dog, Bolshoi the Boxer, along with me when I go visiting friends. The other evening, I had taken him to a house where they had a dog named Timmy.

Timmy was a little dog, friendly, he sniffed at Bolshoi and others, then went under a chair minding his own business. But Bolshoi wasn’t impressed.

He told me in his softest voice (he does not whisper, you see, because dogs cannot whisper). “What kind of a name is Timmy! Tell your friends to give their dog a proper name like Bolshoi the Boxer.”

“Now, now, not so loud,” I said. “And it is bad manners to run down the names of other dogs and think one’s own name is the best, I said.

Bolshoi said: “I cannot speak any softer than I am. And an improper name is an improper name. I wouldn’t’ even call a man by the name Timmy, at the most a parrot.”

“That’s enough,” I said. “We have not come to visit our friends in order to find fault with the names they have give their dogs and say the names are fit only for parrots. What if they hear us talking like this! We will never be invited again.”

Bolshoi said : “If they can hear us, good for them. In fact, you should tell them, if they are really your friends, how absurd it is to call a dog Timmy, like one of those electric guitar players from Bandra West. Let them know I have no objection to Timmy being called Bolshoi. Though he will have to be a little more active to deserve that name.”

“As if you are the most active dog in the world,” I said. “Besides, has it occurred to you that some dogs may not like the name Bolshoi and prefer more simple and what you refer to as Bandraish names like Timmy.”

“Nobody, but nobody, would prefer Timmy over Bolshoi,” Bolshoi said. “Where is the revolutionary Bolshevik spirit in a name like Timmy! How can the workers of the world unite note the red flag of socialism fly over the earth if they are called Timmies and Johnnies!”

“You are not going to start all your communist propaganda here,” I said, “this is not our house. If people want to call their dogs Timmy, they have every right to. A dog is not a road that there should be a conflict in the municipal corporation over what name to give it. besides, think of poor Timmy, how confused the little fellow will be if suddenly his name is changed to Bolshoi. What will the other dogs in the neighbour hood say!”

“Why should he worry about what other dogs say,” Bolshoi said. “I am not worried.”

“That is because you do not mix with the other dogs in the neighbourhood. You think you are too great for them,” I said. “And I do not wish to hear one more word on this matter.”

“Very well, let the poor dog go through life with a name like Timmy,” Bolshoi said. “After all, what do you care when you your self have the kind of name you do. Busybee, is that a name for a grown-up man to have!”

 
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