Bow-wow sat squinting up at the stars above. To him the stars were past souls who looked after their day to day adventures. Piri piri sat crouching by his left side. His eyes were closed and his face marked a peaceful surrender to sleep. Bow-wow could not sleep. Even if Piri piri his caregiver was right next to him. But as the clouds came to envelop the stars, Bow wow lost interest and surrendered to sleep. ‘Oh stop! No! Don’t do that! Let me sleep!’ ‘Get up! Roared the cheetah, Piri piri. Bow-wow, the puppy was an alsatian. The bond between the two had been fostered when Piri piri entered a human settlement, when Bow wow was about to get killed by the locals. His mother had been ruthlessly killed for stealing a chicken leg from the shop, and he was just a few days old puppy! The appearance of a cheetah had struck terror in the heart of the perpetrators, who had run berserk to hide. The cheetah was hungry but something within him stopped him from making Bow wow his meal. The bitch’s corpse lay as the young puppy looked on sadly at Piri piri. It seemed the puppy was too weak to run away or even let out a bark. Leaving behind the dead remains of his mother,  Bow wow had resigned himself to fate; as Piri piri would will it. The puppy Bow wow had become the son of Peri peri. Bow wow learned to hunt and hide in the thick foliage. Sometimes he would lure a victim to Peri peri’s lair. Together, they were a team. ‘Now! Wash yourself in the river and let us go hunting! The message was loud and clear! As Peri peri set off for the tree in the distance, Bow wow went towards the river. But, Peri peri wondered.’why was Bow wow taking so long? He moved stealthily towards the river bed. ‘There was Bow wow! But he seemed agitated. It seemed he was struggling to get himself free from something in the river. A crocodile was trying to pull him under the waters but Bow wow was not ready to give up so soon. He had learned his lessons from Piri piri. Springing forth the cheetah bared his teeth. The crocodile seemed to weigh the consequences and slowly sunk into the muddy waters. As the waters closed on its muddy back, Bow wow limped towards the river bank. ‘You didnot see it coming, wasn’t it? Be careful next time. I am growing old, you must learn to be on your own! But, you made me proud today! I saw you not giving up! After all, you are my son! Tears swelled in Bow wow’s eyes. He remembered the lifeless body of his long lost natural mother. Maybe she was watching over him last night from the sky. As he snuggled close to Piri piri, he felt happy! Piri piri had helped him to become a strong dog if not a cheetah like him!   Penmancy gets a small share of every purchase you make through these links, and every little helps us continue bringing you the reads you love!