A friend, who is giving a Diwali party for children, asked me if I could bring my dog, Bolshoi the Boxer, to entertain the children with dog tricks, etc.
So I put it to Bolshoi: "How would you like to make little children happy this Diwali and bring joy into their lives by performing tricks at their party?"
"I want to have nothing to do with children's parties," Bolshoi said. "They are noisy, they burst too many crackers, they touch me with their sticky chocolate and icecream fingers. The farther I am from children's parties, the better."
"That is not the correct attitude to take," I said. "If children do make a little noise at Diwali and burst crackers, then when can they! Let us all do our bit to make their Diwali a happy occasion."
"Then you go and do it, show them some of your magic tricks," Bolshoi said. "I am not going to wear a funny cap and jump through hoops to make happy Diwali for some rich man's children, who, in any case, have got much more than they deserve."
"Now, nobody is asking you to jump through hoops, we all know you are too old do so and your legs have gone rheumatic and your joints have go arthritis," I said. "All you have to do is show a few simple tricks like sit-down, get up, roll, give paw, etc."
"I am not so old and I can jump through hoops if I want to," Bolshoi said. "It is just that I don't want to. And I simply refuse to roll at your command and give my paw to some stupid child who is half scared I will bite him."
"Nobody is scared you will bite him, you don't at all look like a biting type of dog. Those are German Shepherds, Great Danes, Bloodhounds, not you," I said. "And before the party starts, I can always tell the children that your bark is worse than you bite."
"There is no need to tell anybody anything about me, least of all children and their parents," Bolshoi said. "If their rich fathers want to provide Diwali treats to their children, let them take them to a circus. This dog is not going to perform any tricks for them."
"I don't understand how you can be like this," I said. "After all, we have all been young once. What is there if you bring a little you into their innocent lives?"
"Innocent! Tell me another," Bolshoi said. "The last time you took me to a children's party, they pulled my ears off, they were distinctly insulting to me when I got a little nervous over the fire-crackers. I am not going to any children's party."
"Think of my prestige," is said. "How can I tell my friend that I could not persuade you to come? That you point - blank refused."
"Very well, then, I will come. But ask the children to sent in advance all the request numbers they may want me to sing," Bolshoi said.