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Time to go back home

Ananya was celebrating her 13th birthday. The whole neighbourhood was invited. Her friends from school were there too. Soon it was time to cut the cake. The sound of the birthday song echoed. The table was full of presents. One among them stood out—a large basket covered with a soft, red cloth.

She heard a faint sound, coming from underneath the cloth. Ananya removed the cloth to see what was inside. Woof! It was a puppy. Ananya’s face lit up. She never imagined her wish would come true after so many years on her birthday. Since that day, Ananya and Simba were inseparable.

Three years flew by like a breeze and their bond grew stronger with time. From his walks to his food, Ananya took complete responsibility of Simba’s every need. Ananya couldn’t imagine a day without him, and she never thought she’d have to. But fate had different plans.

Ananya got admission in a prestigious school away from her hometown. Although it was a proud achievement, she knew what it meant—leaving Simba behind. She tried convincing her parents to let Simba come with her. But it was unfeasible. Helpless and heartbroken, Ananya bid farewell to a wailing Simba, who somehow knew she wouldn’t come back for a long time.

Ananya grabbed Simba’s leash as she walked out. It was her way of feeling closer to him.


A few months later, Ananya was still grief-stricken. One fateful night, she received a call from her father. She could tell that his voice was filled with sorrow and guilt. Simba ran away, her father said in a trembling voice. A sharp pain penetrated her body, as she recalled Simba’s innocent face. She began to tumble beneath the weight of deep sadness that grew heavier with each passing moment.

A week later she came home. Ananya broke down as she saw Simba’s toys and food bowl. The memories of their walks in the park, playing fetch and tug flooded her mind. To restore her calm, she decided to go for a walk in the park.

Ananya grabbed Simba’s leash as she walked out. It was her way of feeling closer to him. She sat on a bench and watched others stroll by with their pets. Absorbed in her emotions, she didn’t notice a dog running towards her, his tail wagging and tongue hanging out. She couldn’t tell who it was. For a moment, her teary eyes made the sight foggy. Then she heard him. Woof!

Simba jumped on her lap, unable to control his emotions. For days, he was searching for his human, trying to find her scent. Perhaps, even he thought he will never see her again. But there she was, waiting for him.

Simba whined and licked her face as if trying to comfort her. It took him a few minutes to settle down. He wiggled his butt, wagged his tail, as Ananya leashed him.

This meant only one thing—it was time to go back home.

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