Another short story here!!
It’s not a Dog, That’s a Dragon
Author : Pillow
Our beloved dog Pochi died.
It was a peaceful death at 13 years of age.
「Pochi……Don’t leave me……Pochi……Uuu」
I, who was lost in grief, continued spend my days sleeping while hugging the stuffed toy that Pochi loved. Whenever I pressed the stuffed toy full of bite marks against my face, the beast-like smell that wafted in the air, made me nostalgic. I gave me an illusion as if I was actually snuggling up to Pochi. I was able to sleep soundly.
Unable to ignore me, who fell into Pet Loss Syndrome1, or rather was he unable to bear the beast-like smell? My colleague at my workplace, Enomoto-san while seemingly picking up a dog, discussed it with me and proposed an idea ,saying 「Harada-san, won’t you keep it?」. Why would I want to keep another pet? There is no substitute for Pochi. Although I rejected it, towards Enomoto-san who continued saying 「Then, to the Hospital」, I, against my will, had to take back my words.
「Here, look, isn’t it cute?」
On my day off, carrying the collar and leash , when I visited the Enomoto home, it was there. It sure is cute. It has only been a while since it was born, but its curious childlike behavior loosened my cheeks.2Catching a glimpse of its awe-inspiringness made my heart race. For some reason I feel something resembling Pochi in it, but once I find out that the source of its awe-inspiringness are the wings sprouting out from its back, I realize it is different. This is not Pochi.
「This puppy, you see, was abandoned under the bridge. There, where the convenience store was recently built.」
Finding one thing I did not understand in the words Enomoto-san leisurely told me, I look at the so-called puppy again. Looking above the neck extending from its pure white body which is slightly long for a dog, when I frantically lower my eyes from its round and cute eyes, I see fangs stick out of its mouth for a moment. Let me see.
To the Enomoto-san who I wonder why is trying to cook for himself if he finds it so troublesome, from hereafter in his life so that it does not interrupt the way of life of the convenience store, I timidly raise my hand and open my mouth.
「This, not, a dog 」
Unexpectedly, I replied in broken words like a foreigner, but there is no way to simply rush outside.
「Pochi was an Akita breed right? This kid is a crossbreed but……Is it no good?」
If you ask me that, it’s not like it’s no good. It just happened that Pochi was an Akita breed but I never minded the breed. But it is not like I don’t think of the Bulldog and Chihuahua factions. Nevertheless, a dog is a dog and an owner is an owner. It would be good if each gave affection to the other, it doesn’t matter if it is a crossbreed or not, a dog won’t change. That is, if it is a dog.
「Not a dog…….It’s a dragon」
Because it is a relationship where I do not have to show any restraint, while keeping Enomoto-san’s slightly air-headed nature in mind, I frankly tell him. I kept the tone of my voice as low as possible, even if I say so myself, I think its seriousness was clear.
「No way, Ahaha!」
What I got in return was a burst of laughter. Because he was laughing as if he had nothing to do with it, I unintentionally felt embarassed. Whether he knows shame or not, he ended up even clapping his hands in an exaggerated manner. Damn it. This person is not Enomoto-san. He’s a toy gorilla holding cymbals in his hand3. Only once he started crying due to my scolding did I feel satisfied. After that, as he continued on, saying 「I was simply joking. As usual you love fantasy novels right?」 , I compared small dragon in front of my eyes and Enomoto-san, I bit my lip thinking it was absurd.
「Isn’t it awesome, a dragon!」
Enomoto-san turned to and called out the puppy which was for convenience, his hands , while being completely insufficient, were scratching the base of the wings of the so-called puppy. Speaking of the puppy which is not quite a puppy in question, it is in quite a good mood, while making a「Kyaa」sound . That animal cry! Enomoto-san, listen carefully. Look at what’s at hand closely too. Don’t you have any doubts? You are casting such a gaze loaded with expectations.
「I didn’t serve tea, did I ?」
That’s not it.
「I’m home-, huh, it’s Harada-san!」
Enomoto-san’s younger sister, no, reinforcement appeared. I somehow hurriedly gave my greetings and just as I was thinking of revealing the fact that the true identity of the puppy is a dragon, before I could do so, the reinforcement sent a messenger.
「Will you take the doggie with yourself? Because at home, dad is allergic to pets. But I’m really attached to it. Ah I’m relieved. Because we’ve still not given it a name」
It wasn’t just a reinforcement but a whole army. Did you just say doggie? What with the allergy? I haven’t heard of a dragon allergy. No matter how you see, it has scales, ah, it’s the scales. There is no growth of body hair. It has a body as if it was born from an egg.
「I see……Ahaha, it must be terrible right?」
Not minding the insincere smile that leaked out of my face. Speaking of Enomoto’s younger sister, she was reaching her hand out to the dragon that was curled up into a ball on Enomoto-san’s lap. Going around petting it without reservations, she said 「It feels so cool and pleasant!」.
I wanted to ask if they had no problems touching a creature which seemed to be something belonging to the lizard family. But, once I see the figure of that dragon. I want to pet it. I want to pet it with all my heart. I want to bury my face in it. Imagining the sensation, I take a gulp.
「Enomoto-san, please let me pet it」
I was filled with emotions. I gazed straight at Enomoto-san and said it. Enomoto-san who froze for a moment, while scratching his cheek with his finger, handed the dragon over to me. The hand in which I received it feels quite heavy. The fact that it 「Felt cool and pleasant」was not a lie, its smooth scales felt quite nice to touch.
Unbearable. Unbearable. I, who had a taste of supreme bliss, loosened my expression to a great extent, and ended up making a sound, 「Uwaa」like what Enomoto’s younger sister made. I was too careless. Perhaps I might have even drooled.
Once I stopped petting the dragon with my hand, it flapped its wings and once again settled on top of Enomoto-san’s lap. As if to indicate that it was its home position . An ethereal conduct that seemed to say “I’ve been here since by my birth”. Wait a second, it flew.
「That dog flew, right? Just now? 」
Perhaps this was the result of having expectations.
「It jumped, right? 」
My expectations were all betrayed. There is no way to fly having the nuance of a jump. No matter how you look, it flew with its wings. That was enough evidence. But unfortunately, in such a place,because I couldn’t find a adequate way to express it, I gave up trying to tell them.
「Don’t worry about the details」
Whether or not they perceived my agitation, they reminded me as if they wanted to sew my mouth shut the moment I gave up trying to tell them. 「A dog flying with wings」, whether the situation is trivial or not, as expected, it makes one uneasy. Because of the two people obstinately trying to treat it like a puppy, I feel as if I’m the one who is strange. It’s quite scary. If it was just Enomoto-san, I might still have had the guts to rebuke him. However, right now Enomoto’s younger sister is too on the other side.
「So, what are you gonna do? Are you gonna keep it? Or are you not gonna keep it?」
If you ask me that, is it fine to keep it? Rather I want to hear you guys out. The story went something like finding it under a bridge, but I fear it is smuggling for sure. Smuggling from a Fantasty World. Unable to ignore me, who fell silent thinking about the treatment of rare creatures in the Fantasy World, Enomoto-san whispered the magical keyword 「Hospital」in my ear. Damn it! Enomoto-san, so you can use magic. Even though it was a short incantation, the effectiveness was just right.
「I’ll keep it, I’ll keep it! As an animal lover, I’ll pour all my love 」
Telling the magician so, I received the dragon.
After that, the talk about giving it a name led to a controversy.Due to the conference between I , Enomoto-san , and Enomoto-san’s younger sister, a storm brewed between us. Even though they were from an away standpoint they pushed for「Dora4」with quite a rebellious spirit which made me give in to the two’s demands. Speaking of which, they greedily wanted to add the「Gon」too.
From today on, your name is 「Dora」. Feeling relieved after deciding on its name, when I touch its neck in order to attach a collar, it turned out to be more slender than I expected. As I expected, it isn’t a dog. What I brought was a dog collar. While being quite anxious, while using my memory to the maximum, I was somehow successful in putting it on.
「Well then, Enomoto-san, thanks a lot for today. Sorry, Imouto-san5, I’ll bring it here occasionally」
Enomoto’s younger sister saying 「If it is Harada-san, then I can be at peace」, said her goodbyes to Dora reluctantly. While I was leaving, a shocking revelation from Enomoto-san who said 「Speaking of which, this dog eats nothing other than raw meat」, which made me feel a meal like that was worthy of a dragon, hearing which I left the Enomoto home quite while being quite scared. It’s a terrifying place.
While deciding on hard-boiled eggs, the figure if Dora comes in front of the leash I have grasped. It’s still quite bright outside on my day off. Of course there are passerbys. It’s not a bad dragon. While having such an expression and lowering my head to the passerbys in my mind, we hurry on our way back.
Contrary to my worries, the passerbys showed no signs of being surprised. Catching a glimpse of the principle of letting sleeping dogs lie, I was worried if the public order of the town was fine. On the way for a very young kid, who waved his hand, saying「Ah! It’s a doggie!」, somehow Dora quite heroically stood on two legs and waved its paw. I felt I showed them something that shouldn’t be seen, and the thought of turning back to the Enomoto home too crossed my mind.Because I feared it was likely that that young kid’s father said 「Look, the doggie waved his hand, aren’t you glad. Miho. 」, all my worries piled up. 私はすごいです
Somehow or the other, once we finally reached a room in my apartment, I turned and faced Dora.
「From today onwards, this is your home. Good luck」
Was it transmitted or not? Dora, who responded with a cry, without being afraid, was familiarizing itself with our house, and was looking around the room with a great deal of interest.
As the night advanced, being informed beforehand, once I presented the raw beef lying idle on the refrigerator, Dora used its paws quite dexterously and ate it’s food. It used its paws…… While being amazed, I turned to face my personal computer, but when I looked up 「Dog Dragon」, the results that I got were 「Can I feed my Dog Dragon fruit? 」 and such. It was different from the answer I wanted. By the way, it’s fine to feed them. I didn’t know that.
Somehow or the other, I was quite impressed with the search engine, and I looked at Dora, thinking “Just what the heck are you?” Whereupon, due to the raw meat it was still eating getting stuck in its throat, it cutely coughed 「Kepo」 once.
At the time it coughed, for some reason I saw something red, shining in its mouth. I know what it is, I’ve seen it in the kitchen, Fire. No way, this kid, breathed fire. Wings are still fine. Well, I don’t know if it is fine, but even birds have them. However, fire, of all things, fire?
「Be careful of the fire……」
It gave a cry as if to say “Leave it to me!”. I wonder if it really understands. I still don’t feel as if it gets my intentions. I knew everything about Pochi. Without any doubt, Pochi understood my intentions. Pochi never breathed fire too. Succumbing to emotions that made my chest tighten, I picked up the stuffed to that Pochi loved in my hand and pressed it against my face in order to calm my heart down. I’m still recovering from Pet Loss Syndrome.
To the cry that seemed to say “What happened?”, I resisted my urges and turned around to go about petting it. While saying「You really feel cool to the touch, don’t you?」, I wasn’t able to stop the tears from flowing down my cheeks.
A dragon is also nice.
Thank you for staying together with me
Please take care of me from here on too.
Early Morning the next day, the stuffed toy Pochi loved was burnt. Because an important keepsake was burnt, in a fit of rage I and Dora fought. I treated it quite cruelly (did take it out for a walk the whole day) with a heavy heart
It took us two days to reconcile.
1. Animal Loss
2.Unsure of this one まだ生まれて間もないことが伺えるあどけない仕草に頬が緩む。
4. As in Japanese for Dragon (Doragon)
5. Younger sister.