When I was growing up, a variety of visitors would visit my maternal aunt: either relatives or close family friends, each as colourful as Sunday’s “seven colours” lunch.
One such visitor was an affable and dependable family friend (let’s call her Mam’ Cynthia for this story.)
One afternoon many years ago, Mam’ Cynthia paid Auntie a visit. As she made for the Dutch door in the kitchen of the modest, suburban bungalow, she warmly acknowledged my cousin, my brother and me as we went about passing the time in Auntie’s large yard, playing games common for young boys of age 11 or 12 in the mid-2000s. As Mam’ Cynthia disappeared into the house, where no doubt Auntie warmly welcomed her before the two of them retreated to the sitting room to catch up, an odd-looking dog made its appearance.
If memory serves me, it was a scruffy, brown, spotted specimen.
It wasn’t the type of dog we were familiar with, which would probably have joined in on the cacophony of barking dogs as one walked down the street to Auntie’s home at number 16. Shortly after the “creature” showed its face, the three of us went inside the house – probably to play some more.
We ended up in the sitting room where Auntie and her guest were sitting.
“Tjo, I have just seen the ugliest dog ever to find itself on God’s green earth!” announced my brother. He then added something along the lines of: “That dog out there is so ugly it puts the ‘U’ in the word ‘ugly’!”
He had a point. I looked at it and wondered quietly: Goodness me – what is that thing?’”
Years later, when we reminisce about this episode, my brother still says that “that dog was a hyena in disguise”.
But no, it wasn’t a “hyena dog”. As Auntie’s guest, Mam’ Cynthia, put it at the time, “It’s my dog!”
Needless to say, that caught my brother unawares and no further mention of “hyena dog” was made as he, my cousin and I attempted to stifle our laughter at his gaffe, leaving Auntie to do the damage control.
Mam’ Cynthia, who clearly loved that very ugly thing, fortunately didn’t take it to heart.
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