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The Tale Of Tails

Updated: Mar 11

By Sreemoyee Mitra

It is known that humans have descended from primates, they even have a tailbone, but with years of evolution, we outgrew them. But what fun would it have been if we had tails just like any other animals! Imagine all of us like our beloved dogs and cats having tails as a form of expressing ourselves. Tails sometimes even solve problems! Just like it did with Mr. Binglo.

Mr. Jonathan Binglo, a 52 year old man, residing on the western part of Goa. He is known to be the most humble, modest and wise man among his peers, even the ladies in her area tells his wife often, Oh! You’re so lucky to have a husband like that! But that never moved Mrs. Binglo as she failed to see the greatness in her husband. He loved him indeed but there were times when she felt a slight bang of a pan on his head might stop him from being this virtuous, maybe then, they would have some money. Poor Mr. Binglo embraced the ruggedness of his wife; he continued to be the man he is. To him, happiness lied in the smaller things in life, like a rose in the morning, planting a fruit tree in the backyard or taking an evening stroll on the beach on a full moon night. Life was simple to him. These were mostly things Mrs. Binglo was least bothered about, she dreamt of a restaurant, luxury and maybe few of the pretty dresses like that Mrs. Dias. Life was complicated for her. One would often watch them in the market quarrelling about groceries and wonder how they ended up together. Nevertheless, Mr. Binglo loved his wife however she was, and Mrs. Binglo had her ways with him.

It was a cloudy Tuesday morning; Mr. Binglo was getting ready for office when the door bell rang. He opened the door and an unknown man with a t-shirt saying “delivery24” stood before him. Before he could ask anything the man said:

“There is a parcel for Mr. Binglo”

Mr. Binglo was surprised, yet composed himself and signed the papers. After he shut the doors, his wife came into the room and with immense amusement gaped at the huge box lying on their table.

“Who sent this?” she asked, there was a childish energy in her tone.

“I don’t know it didn’t have any name.” said Mr. Binglo, scratching his partially bald head.

“Well, let’s open and find out shall we?” uttered an overenthusiastic Mrs. Binglo.

After they removed the brown paper wrap, the black coloured box inside became visible. At the first glance it seemed like a shoe box but bigger. It had no strings tied, had few holes on the lower parts of the walls and felt warm. It weighed moderately heavy. Mr. Binglo wondered what it could be! In his 52 years of life, not once has he ever received a gift. As they opened the upper lid of the box, both of them looked to their greatest disbelief. In the box, on a pile of some hay, lied a small golden coloured puppy, sleeping all curled up in the box. The gift left both of them in noticeably opposite mood. Mr. Binglo was overjoyed, he took the puppy in his arms as he felt his trembling body finding comfort; “What should we name him darling?” He asked his wife, who, by now, had sat on the couch in absolute disappointment and despair.

“What happened? Are you not happy? Just look at him. Look at eyes. Doesn’t it remind you of a moonless night, a sky full of stars?” Mr. Binglo was overwhelmed.

“We don’t need a dog. We need money. He will only increase our expense. Do whatever you want with him.” Mrs. Binglo stormed out of the room while spewing these words at Mr. Binglo. Mr. Binglo looked at the puppy with his helpless eyes, the puppy reciprocated his feelings. I will name him Butterscotch, he thought to himself. He did not know who gave this to him, but was just happy to have him in his life. From then onwards Mr. Binglo was busy taking care of Butterscotch. He woke up early nowadays and took little Butterscotch for a small walk, bought his favourite foods and came back. After coming back from office, both of them would play in the backyard. Mrs. Binglo noticed them from other room or the window and wondered what happiness that dog could give him that she did not all these years. They have been married for 26 years, yet this is the happiest he has ever seen his husband. She disliked Butterscotch whole-heartedly. The dog takes away their food and also her husband. There were many days she snapped at him, he did not move, he only stared back with water filled eyes. One day, Butterscotch was watching the TV when Mrs. Binglo came and snapped at her. It was 7 o’clock and Mr. BInglo was about to return.

“Look at yourself behaving all princely as we are all your slaves. You are good for nothing. Why did i find some lettuce in your lunch plate?” She showed the plate to Butterscotch who by now already had his face sunk. “You expect to have meat all day? Go to some rich house then. You must have been a menace to some family who left you with us. Had it not been for my husband you would have been fighting for this piece of lettuce at the garbage bin with other dogs, do you understand?”

“What is going on?” asked Mr. Binglo tiredly who had been hearing his wife shouting for the last 2 minutes.

“Your spoilt brat wants fancy food. Maybe now you should make more money. At least you never did it for me, you might do it for him!”

Mr. Binglo picked up Butterscotch who in the last 8 months has really grown to be a very handsome pure bred Labrador retriever, and went for an evening walk. They went to the park and sat on a bench. Mr. Bingo looked at the night sky. The stars shone as bright as the eyes of Butterscotch. He put his hand on the latter’s back and caressed, feeling the sensation of happiness in him. Butterscotch made him happy. If only happiness came that easy to his wife. Mr. Bingo looked as a shooting star moved across the night sky. He closed his eyes and dreamt of a simpler life where all of them were happy.

The morning sun had come up few hours ago it seems as the scorching heat woke up Mr. Bingo. He found himself lying on the park bench. He gasped in shock to realize that he hadn’t gone home. As he looked around it felt strange. His view was somehow different. All the other people in the park seemed taller. What is that smell? He looked around but couldn’t understand. He was feeling hot. He turned left and found butterscotch staring at him. Suddenly he heard ‘what did you do papa?’.. Mr. Bingo jumped off in scare. Butterscotch is talking!! How is that possible? He gave him a closer look.

“What are you looking at? Look at what you’ve done to yourself?”

Mr. Bingo got off from the bench and ran in haste confused. He saw taller people. Why are they tall? Why is Butterscotch talking? He found himself standing in front of the park fountain. He couldn’t believe his eyes as he saw his own reflection in the water. He looked several times but could not fathom. He was a dog! He looked at his back and there it was! Quite the tail! He was a Retriever indeed. But how is this possible? He fell on the grass unable to comprehend the happenings. Butterscotch came near him and said “You wished for happiness, here it is. Now you’re free”.

“What are you talking about? I’ve to get back home to my wife.” Said a sobbing Mr. Binglo

“Why? She doesn’t love you. You are not happy. Let us stay here and play around.” Butterscotch uttered the words with perseverance.

It was still awkward for Mr. Bingo to see Butterscotch talk. But he was a dog himself so logic was really not on a vacation right now. Butterscotch tried very hard to convince him to accept this fate and enjoy life. It took him quite a while.

“Maybe you’re right”. Mr. Binglo said while getting up.

“I’m hungry. Let’s go eat.” Suggested Butterscotch

“But where will we get the food?” asked Mr. Bingo, still wrapping his head around everything .

“We are two very handsome dogs papa. There will be no scarcity of foods for us. You see that lady over there feeding the strays. She lives down the street near to the beach. As soon as she’s done here, we'll follow her.” Said an excited Butterscotch

Both of them waited for the middle-aged lady to finish. As soon as he she left the park, Butterscotch signaled Mr. Binglo and they both followed her. Mr. Binglo knew the lady. It was Nancy, she worked at the public library nearby and came everyday to the park twice a day to feed the dogs. She was soft spoken and liked Butterscotch very much. After few steps towards her home, Nancy found both of them wagging their tails and flaunting their big eyes at her. She melted. She gave them both biscuits and some leftover food of last night. It was delicious! Mr. Binglo hesitated to take the biscuits from the ground at first but seeing Butterscotch and understanding his own hunger, took the bite. Nancy patted both their backs and said ‘God must punish the ones who left you both to roam around like this. I’d take care of you both. Butterscotch expressed at their delight by licking her face. Mr. Binglo was having the weirdest day of his life.

Meanwhile, Mrs. Binglo has been up all night. All these years this has never happened. Mr. Binglo has never been out at night. She feared the worst and accused him of being irresponsible. She called all of the few relatives and friends they have, knocked on every door in the neighborhood yet could not find any information. She called his office and found out that since few days he had been facing troubles in work. Even though he had so much going on, he never brought that to our home, Mrs. Binglo felt ashamed. Dany next door said “you shouldn’t be so hard on him Mrs. Binglo. He does his best for you to be happy.” All these words made Mrs. Binglo sink in guilt. Has she driven her husband so far that he hates her? She only wished what a normal woman does. But she loved him. At least now she feels it more than ever. Even Butterscotch is missing. “They must be happy together now” she thought to herself while breaking into tears. In the afternoon she went to the police station. They took the complaint but told her that maybe they are just taking the day off. It’s a small town and Mrs. Binglo always had a reputation of not being the most loving wife. Her face frowned as she returned to her empty home. As she turned on the lights she saw the sofa where usually Mr. Binglo and Butterscotch sits while watching TV and she broke down. She cried her heart out and only wished for their safe return. She feared to be left alone in this world. He was all she had. “Come back John” she murmured in pain.

On the other part of the town, Mr. Binglo and Butterscotch were coming back from a fair. They had the time of their life. Mr. Binglo learned that Butterscotch was left to him by his boss. His boss’s dog was his mother. She had 4 pups and his boss, unable to manage, distributed them to his employees and friends. Mr. Binglo never felt very highly of his boss, but he himself was a man of righteousness and refused to speak ill of anyone. “Well I’m glad he did, I got you son”. Teary eyed Mr. Binglo said to Butterscotch as both wagged their tails in joy. They had some crumbs in the fair and were desperately hungry. “Should we go to that lady?” Butterscotch suggested. “But we ate in the morning at Nancy’s” Mr. Binglo reminded.

Butterscotch laughed, put his paw on Mr. Binglo's back and said “you still have a long way to be a dog papa”

They both laughed and went on to her house. She was extremely happy to have them both for dinner. They ate heartily and bid her goodbye with face licks and tail wags. She reciprocated with belly rubs and kisses. Mr. Binglo blushed internally.

As they were walking on the roads towards the beach, they saw 5 shadows approaching towards them from the dark. They were 5 well built dogs, street dogs.

“Are you not the Binglo dog? said one of the large black ones. He had sharp features and from his voice seemed like the gang-leader.

Mr. Binglo retreated in fear. Butterscotch stayed firm and answered “yes”

“Who’s this oldie with you? Your father? Huh?” said the dog while the others joined him in his sarcastic laughter.

“Yes.” firmly said Butterscotch, ignoring their mockery.

“Well. Listen up kid! The dog came closer, “I don’t want to get into a fight with pretty faces but we saw you eating at Nancy’s place tonight. She feeds us and we do not want you getting in our share. Go to Binglos or you and I are going to have problems” threatened the dog.

“You cannot threaten….” young and feisty Butterscotch was interrupted by Mr. Binglo who then calmly told the dog ‘This won’t happen again. You’ve my word.”

“A dog of honor; I like that.” said the dog while eying on Mr. Binglo. Their snouts were as close as they can be “Now, take your rebel son and go to your little house” he murmured softly yet rigidly. His voice was as cold as a December night. Mr Binglo pushed Butterscotch and they both moved away from the gang and took the lane towards the park.

“What were you thinking putting us in danger?” asked a worried Mr. Binglo

“You don’t know them. They’re bullies and drive all the other house dogs away. They even have frequent beef with the other street dogs.” said Butterscotch angrily.

“Well, we cannot win against them can we? Said Mr. Binglo, his tone was very low.

“You never fight papa. You never raise your voice against injustice.” spoke an annoyed Butterscotch. ‘this is why mother is so angry with you always..” he added.

Mr. Binglo dug deep in his thoughts and started speaking slowly “You see my dear, they did not do any harm. They just warned because they are all deprived of love. All of them watches you every day with me and feels hollow inside. Each one of us, be it dog or cat or human, we all want to be loved deep inside. They cannot be blamed my dear son, but their circumstances should be. They were born on these streets, their parents either died or deserted them to die alone, the streets have raised them and so they are built rough and ill spoken. Nancy is the only person who comes every day for them with food and gives them the love they need so desperately. It is a shame I could not even notice their pain all these years. We all have our battles to fight, Butter, you cannot blame someone for how rude they are because most often we do not know their stories. You think Lea is unkind and does not love me, but it is quite the opposite, she does love me, it is just the circumstances. We both grew up together on the northern part of the state, with very limited sources. She always dreamt to own a restaurant, but her circumstances did not allow it. She could’ve married any wealthy man and have her dreams fulfilled, but she never left my hand. The poor woman wants me to be the man who fulfills her dreams, but alas she’s stuck with this jerk who cannot even get a raise since 5 years! She did some savings while working at a tailor shop few years ago, but you know how this place is changing over the years, it is not very easy opening a restaurant.” As Mr. Binglo stopped, Butterscotch noticed that tears were rolling down his eyes. He consoled Mr. Binglo.. “After all these years, I, for one time stood up for my raise this Tuesday, and since that day my Boss thinks that he should let go off me, as I’m less competent.” He added as the tears grew noticeably louder.

“Forget about your boss papa, I think I can help you both.” Spoke Buttersctoch in excitement while both of them sat at the park bench.

“How?” asked Mr. Binglo as he composed himself from the emotional breakdown.

“You know today I heard one of the dogs at the fair say that his owner takes him to kid’s birthday parties where the children love playing with dogs and the dog’s owners are paid handsomely.” said Butterscotch, whose voice was sounding quite wise.

“How can I put you up for sale like that? You are our baby. I refuse to make money out of you.” said Mr. Binglo quite firmly. He cannot even imagine strangers touching Butterscotch.

“But papa, you could be there too. And it won’t be strangers. Just kids, like they play with me in the park and touch me. And I won’t be alone. Few other dogs would be there too. You know Cloud, Mr. Porch’s dog, he goes there. You can contact him. With the savings and my help you can build the restaurant for mother, you don’t even have to work for your boss then! We could be happy. Please dad please. I know the kids, I like them. Let me help you. Maybe that is why I was sent to you both.” insisted Butterscotch. Unknowingly they had started walking towards their home, during the conversation and have now reached the corner of the lane, from where, Mr. Binglo could see his wife, sitting beside the window absent mindedly looking at the sky. She looked pale and sad, looks like she hasn’t eaten all day. Mr. Binglo felt ashamed of him and looked at Butterscotch “I think I named you wrong, you should’ve been named Angel!” Butterscotch who got teary eyes and they both hugged. “It is time go back papa” he spoke softly and obediently.

“Yes” Mr. Binglo agreed with happy tears flowing through both their eyes.

The morning sun hasn’t come out with all its glory yet, when Mr. Binglo woke up. To his own astonishment he sat and tried to understand that had happened. He was a man again, so was it a dream? He turned around and found Butterscotch staring at him in his usual pretty gaze. Mr. Binglo hugged him tightly and they both went home. As they approached their door, Mrs. Binglo opened the door and hugged Mr. Binglo to the latter’s surprise. Even Butterscotch and two of the morning strollers were taken aback. Mrs. Binglo burst into tears and said “Never do that again. Don’t leave me alone. You know I cannot sleep without you by my side. And you… “ she turned to Butterscotch and picked him up. You know you’re like my son so I will scold you always, but you cannot leave me like this. Come on in both of you and do not ever try to do anything like that again..” Mr. Binglo looked at Butterscotch and said “Angel”.

As they went inside, Mr. Binglo shared with his wife how her dream of a restaurant won’t be a dream for a very long time. Mrs. Binglo hugged both of them and for the first time cried her heart out in sheer joy. Butterscotch locked eyes with Mr. Binglo who was overwhelmed by seeing his wife happy, and winked. His eyes sparkled like the milkyway and his tail wagged in joy.

It seems the shooting star did make Butterscotch’s wishes true. Really, being a dog is that simple. All you have to do is wish to make everyone happy.

By Sreemoyee Mitra

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Abhishek Bhattacharya
Abhishek Bhattacharya
Sep 13, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Heart touching


sreemoyee mitra
sreemoyee mitra
Sep 13, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.


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