I remember the day a dog bit me. The dog left a surface bite wound on my left thigh. I was in pain, but the guilt I felt at the same time superseded all the pains.
I thought the attack was the universe teaching me a lesson for disobeying my parents. Naturally, I was an obedient child but on that day I broke the golden rule. The golden rule in my home was “come straight home after school or private lessons“. My parents detested lies and sneakiness.
On the day of the bite, my best friend at the time had invited me over to her home. We had just finished a private academic lesson, organized by our primary school class teacher in her home. My friend thought it would be cool if I could stopover her place on my way home for a quick visit.
I lost track of time while I was visiting with my friend. We were entertaining each other with stories as we enjoyed juicy- fleshy mangoes. As time was getting on, “you should be home right now”, my conscience whispered to me. I cut my visit short and left immediately. I was having a good time and would have loved to stay longer.
Her home was roughly a 10-minute walk from mine if I took the main road. However, I decided to take the bush path, a shortcut, to make up for lost time. As I walked home, I tried to make up a story to explain my tardiness. None of the stories I cooked up in my head was believable. I was a terrible liar. My parents always knew when I was fibbing.
So, I was so fixated on making up a good lie that I completely disregarded the danger ahead. Two dirty stray dogs were lounging on the bush path. Their furs were matted with brown soil. It was hard to tell their original color. I was approaching the dogs without caring for my safety. I was a dog lover, an owner of a crossbreed Alsatian.
The movies I had seen made me believe that dogs could sense positive or negative energy. I had nothing but love for dogs. So I thought I was safe around any dog. Boy, was I wrong?
The dogs attacked me when I came within their reach. Luckily a passerby on a motorcycle heard me screaming and came to my rescue. As she rode towards me, the dogs ran backward.
I lay on the hard red soil, crying and at the same time trying to pull my dress down. The stranger picked me up, put me on her motorbike and started riding out of the path.
As we rode, I looked back. The dogs were chasing the bike. With a furious look on their faces like they had just lost a bone.
Karma!, the word kept ringing in my head. The universe was already punishing me, I thought.
When I eventually got home, my parents were not there. What a relief! The Housekeeper was home alone. She was too engrossed with herself and didn’t look up when I walked in. I quickly went into the bathroom, washed the bite wound with water and soap. I diluted some antiseptic liquid in warm water and began cleaning the injury on my thigh.
I froze as a thought came to mind, “have I been exposed to rabies?” I had heard a lot of stories about children who got the rabies virus and lost their lives to it. My nine-year-old body was trembling with fear. I was too afraid to tell my parents what had happened to me. “Keep it to yourself, the truth will attract more punishment”, I thought aloud.
I resorted to prayers. I asked God for forgiveness and promised not to break any more rules.
Thinking about this experience now , I am grateful that the dog did not infect me with rabies. The Rabies virus could be fatal if not treated immediately. I would not be here today.