Hunting horns signed the beginning, the beginning of a hunt of innocent and the endings of their lives. Sounds of brass instruments rang out through forests and meadows and shattered, otherwise ideal atmosphere of a beautiful area. Dozens of people dressed up in fancy clothes and armed with expensive rifles started their bloody march, the hunt. Well armed and bloodthirsty they are looking for inhabitants of the forest - the animals, which are not aware of forthcoming horror. Today, some of them will pay with their lives the hunters' eagerness for bloodshed. Their deaths are determined. A noise of the shots, hunting horns and laughter, hushed the silent pain and screams of a "prey." Fun for the hunters means suffering for the animals. To increase a feeling of superiority over nature, they submit the "domestic" animals and not just shoot the wild. In this case the hounds play the role of obedient slaves, ready to kill and to be killed. Many hunters take their "troops" that will do their dirty work and show how cruel they can be to please their masters.
A good hound should be strong, fast, obedient, and have a keen scent of smell. The best among the hounds was Bobby. Despite his age, he was still faster and more agile than most of the younger hounds. He always stood out with his slyness when catching prey, his speed and a good noticing ability. And also with his cruelty when he "finished" his master's work. He often had to kill the victim, which was hit by master's shogun. Bobby's sharp teeth and strong bite were breaking necks, throttling and sometimes tearing up hit and wounded animals.
When Bobby did his job well, the master was pleased. The master often generously awarded and praised Bobby among his friends, Bobby liked it and he was proud in front of other hounds from his neighborhood. The two of them were inseparable; Bobby always stood by his master, just as loyal as he was from the day one. While master was spending time in bars, Bobby always watched him with his warm eyes, ready to answer the smallest movement of master's hand.
The master was feeding and taking care of Bobby, they shared breakfast, lunch and dinner. The master shared with Bobby everything he owned. They looked great together; it was a great love. When they returned home, Bobby did his other job and watched over the house. Everybody knew that it's better not to enter the yard while Bobby watches over.
They lived happily for years; they spent the whole days together, they were hunting, taking long walks, and everybody knew what a great dog the master has, and what a great master has the dog. Going hunting was almost a habit, because they hunted almost every morning.
They were together on every Sunday, just like this one. Day started like any other, no different than any before. They left home quite early, so they could be in a forest about 7 o'clock.
The master had a good day, he already killed a few foxes and it was a great prey; but killing is an addiction - you can never get enough. Bobby was tired, but master just wouldn't quit. He had to kill at least one more to satisfy his urge.
There's a suspicious sound in the shrubs... BANG! The ambush was successful! Another fox is killed, the mother of baby-foxes is dead now; the baby-foxes are orphans. But, it's a small price for a great hunting-story.
It's time for a hound to do his job, to bring her dead body. Bobby jumped out of the shrubs growling, ready to slay the fox if she was still alive. That was something usual for Bobby, he did it many times. He snarled, ready to throttle her because she was still breathing, but something happened that changed him completely. He saw her eyes, she was crying. Out of the shrubs, just a few steps away, peeked two small heads. The fox was still crying. She knew she was leaving her children.
Bobby saw all this. A teardrop fell from Bobby's eye. He looked at dead fox, and realized what he has done. His heart broke. One fox died before him, just like the hundreds of foxes before her. Bobby finally realized that what he did for his master was wrong. "BOBBY WHAT'S GOING ON!!" yelled a voice behind him. The maser was surprised, and very angry. The master broke fox's neck and went away without a single word. Without the words of approval and without a smile, master was on his way home.
Although, Bobby was too sad anyway, master's praising wouldn't make him happy. At this moment, Bobby just wanted to be alone with his pain. All he could see were fox's tears and the looks of baby-foxes when they watched their mother die.
That evening master's wife filled Bobby's bowl. The master just sat there thinking, he was offended and angry. He spoke suddenly: "I'll have to get a new hound. This one is old and tired." He was talking like Bobby wasn't in the room. For years he was talking to Bobby, flattering, confiding, and now he's talking like Bobby wasn't even there.
Bobby knew what the master was saying. He understood every word. "I'll do it after a dinner," said master calmly. Bobby was brokenhearted. The man he dedicated his life to, the man he considered his friend, the man whose flattering he loved so much - now betrayed him. And he is going to change him like a pair of old, worn out trousers.
He realized that everything was a huge lie, and that friendship was never there. Friendship was never mutual. There were just a master and his hound, his blindly loyal servant.
When the dinner was over, master kept his promise. He took a rifle from the wall. A destiny of hundreds of animals now waited for Bobby.
The master's wife took another look at Bobby, probably because she didn't want to forget how he looked like. Although, the only thing she cared about was that Bobby doesn't mess up the house. She'll be pleased with a new puppy.
The master opened the door and said quietly: "Let's go, Bobby." He said it like he was sorry... Bobby stood up. With his head bent and shaky legs, he got out of a house. He suddenly felt coldness of a night, a night like hundreds of others that he spent watching over a house, a house that will now become his tomb.
There was a hole in a corner of a yard. The master slowly walked towards it, and Bobby followed him. "It's good that the hole is still here, I will use it now," thought the master. He threw a bone into the hole so Bobby would jump in it. Bobby knew. He jumped into the hole. He couldn't wait for the end. A betrayal broke his spirit. The look of a fox and the tears of baby-foxes crushed him. He was crushed by the look of a master's wife, for her he was just a thing. A thing that can be easily replaced. But, the betrayal of his best friend defeated him. He wanted to die, to end the suffering.
Bobby laid down his head and gently blinked. There was still a little bit of hope in his heart that master will put down his rifle and change his mind. A peaceful night was shattered by gunshot. Suddenly started upsetting bark from all yards, it seemed like the dogs were saying goodbye to Bobby.
Only one yard was peaceful. Silent. In a corner of a yard, there was a fresh pile of ground. There was no mark that somebody is buried there. There was just a ground that will be covered with grass...
The very next morning, a sound of laughter rang through the yard. Everybody was happy about "the new member of a family," the new mean hunter. The master got a new hound, his new best friend and blindly loyal servant.
In a corner of a yard grew a flower. A beautiful wild flower. Its beauty revealed its goodness. Bobby wasn't just a ruthless servant of a cruel master. Although he died for him, he didn't kill for him anymore. It was the most beautiful flower in the whole yard...
Bobby by Domagoj Pintaric