It was dawn at Nagrebcan.
The all right. blue mist. low over the baccy Fieldss. was raising and thinning minute by minute. A ragged strip of mist. pulled off by the forenoon zephyr. had caught on the hundred umps of bamboo along the Bankss of the watercourse that flowed to one side of the barrio.
Before long the Sun would exceed the Katayaghan hills. but as yet no people were about. In the gray shadow of the hills. the barrio was bit by bit wake uping. Roosters crowed and strutted on the land while biddies hesitated on their perches among the subdivisions of the camanchile trees. Stray goats nibbled· the weeds on the sides of the route. and the bull carabaos tugged restively against their bets.
In the early forenoon the puppies lay curled up together between their mother’s paws under the ladder of the house. Four puppies were all white like the female parent. They had pink olfactory organs and tap palpebras and tap oral cavities. The tegument between their toes and on the interior of their big. wilted ears was pink.
They had short sleek hair. for the female parent licked them frequently. The 5th puppy ballad across the mother’s cervix. On the puppy’s back was a large black topographic point like a saddle. The tips of its ears were black and so was a spot of hair on its thorax.
The gap of the sawali door. its uneven underside dragging noisily against the bamboo flooring. aroused the female parent Canis familiaris and she got up and stretched and agitate herself. dispersing dust and loose white hair. A rank pooch odor rose in the cool forenoon air.
She took a speedy spring frontward. uncluttering the puppies which had begun to whine about her. desiring to suckle. She trotted off and disappeared beyond the house of a neighbour.
Baldo stood at the threshold and rubbed his sleep-heavy eyes with his fists. He must hold been approximately ten old ages old. little for his age. but compactly built. and he stood directly on his bony legs. He wore one of his father’s discarded cotton singlets.
Bending down. he reached between his legs for the black-spotted puppy. He held it to him. stroking its soft. warm organic structure.
He blew on its olfactory organ. The puppy stuck out a little ruddy lingua. lapping the air. It whined thirstily. Baldo laughed a low gurgle.
He rubbed his face against that of the Canis familiaris. He said quietly. “My puppy. My puppy. ” He said it many times.
The puppy licked his ears. his cheeks. When it licked his oral cavity. Baldo straightened up. raised the puppy on a degree with his eyes.
“You are a foolish puppy. ” he said. express joying. “Foolish. foolish. foolish. ” he said. turn overing the puppy on his lap so that it howled.
The four other puppies awoke and came scrambling about Baldo’s legs. He put down the black-spotted puppy and ran to the narrow pes span of woven split-bamboo crossing the wayside ditch.
When it rained. H2O from the roadway flowed under the stopgap span. but it had non rained for a long clip and the land was dry and flaxen.
Baldo sat on the span. delving his bare pess into the sand. experiencing the cool atoms get awaying between his toes. He whistled a toneless whistling with a funny Trilling to it produced by puting the lingua against the lower dentition and so swerving it up and down.
The whistling excited the puppies ; they ran to the male child every bit fast as their unsteady legs could transport them. barking jerky small barks.
Nana Elang. the female parent of Baldo. now appeared in the room access with smattering of rice straw. She called Baldo and told him to acquire some unrecorded degree Celsius Is from their neighbour.
“Get two or three combustion coals and convey them place on the rice straw. ” she said. “Do non beckon the straw in the air current. If you do. it will catch fire B ore you get place.
” She watched him run toward Ka Ikao’s house where already fume was lifting through the nipa roofing into the brumous air.
One 0 two empty carromatas drawn by sleepy small ponies rattled along the gravelly street. edge for the railway station.
Nana Elang must hold been 30. but she looked at least 50. She was a thin. wisplike adult female. with cadaverous custodies and weaponries. She had pantie. with consecutive. greying hair which she gathered behind her caput in a little. tight knot. It made her expression dilutant than of all time. Her zygomatic bones seemed on the point of spliting through the dry. yellowish-brown tegument.
Above a gray-checkered skirt. she wore a individual wide-sleeved cotton blouse that ended below her level chests. Sometimes when she stooped or reached up for anything. a glance of the flesh at her waist showed in a dark. purple set where the skirt had been tied so frequently.
She washed the rice and set it in a pot which she placed on the cold range. She made ready the other pot for the muss of veggies and dried fish.
When Baldo came back with the rice straw and combustion coals. she told him to get down a fire in the range. while she cut the ampalaya tendrils and sliced the aubergines.
When the fire eventually flamed inside the clay range. Baldo’s eyes were aching from the fume of the rice straw.
“There is the fire. female parent. ” he said. “Is father awake already? ”
Nana Elang shook her caput. Baldo went out easy on tiptoe.
There were already many people traveling out. Several fishermen have oning coffee-colored shirts and pants and chapeaus made from the shell of white Cucurbita pepos passed by. The fume of their home-made cigars floated behind them like scintillas of the forenoon mist.
They walked fast. speaking among themselves. Each adult female had gathered the loose creases of her skirt in forepart and. writhing the terminal two or three times. passed it between her legs. drawing it up at the dorsum. and stealing it inside her waist. The adult females seemed to be have oning pants that reached merely to their articulatio genuss and flared at the thighs.
Day was rapidly turning older. The E flamed redly and Baldo called to his female parent. “Look. female parent. God besides cooks his breakfast. ”
He went to play with the puppies. He sat on the span and took them on his lap one by 1. He searched for fleas which he crushed between his thumbnails.
“You. puppy. You. puppy. ” he murmured quietly.
When he held the black-spotted puppy. he said. “My puppy. My puppy. ”
Ambo was about every bit tall as his older brother and he had stout beefy legs. Baldo frequently called him the boy of an Igorot. The home-made cotton shirt he wore was diversely stained. The pocket was torn. and it flipped down. He ate the banana without skining it.
“You foolish male child. take the tegument. ” Baldo said. “I will non. ” Ambo said.
“It is non your banana. ” He took a large bite and swallowed it with overdone gusto.
“You are non eating it. ” Ambo said. The remainder of the banana vanished in his oral cavity.
He sat beside Baldo and both played with the puppies.
The female parent Canis familiaris had non yet returned and the puppies were going hungry and ungratified. They sniffed the custodies of Ambo. licked his fingers. They tried to scramble up his chest to cream his oral cavity. but he brushed them down.
Baldo laughed. He held the black-spotted puppy closely. fondled it fondly.
“My puppy. ” he said. “My puppy. ”
Ambo played with the other puppies. but he shortly grew tired of them. He wanted the black-spotted 1. He sidled near to Baldo and put out a manus to fondle the puppy baby bird contentedly in the criminal of his brother’s arm.
But Baldo struck the manus off.
“Don’t touch my puppy. ” he said. “My puppy. ”
Ambo begged to be allowed to keep the black-spotted puppy. But Baldo said he would non allow him keep the black-spotted puppy because he would non skin the banana.
Ambo so said that he would obey his older brother following clip. for all clip.
Baldo would non believe him ; he refused to allow him touch the puppy.
Ambo rose to his pess. He looked yearningly at the black-spotted puppy in Baldo’s weaponries.
Suddenly he bent down and tried to snap the puppy off.
But Baldo sent him sprawling in the dust with a deft push.
Ambo did non call. He came up with a handful of sand which he flung in his brother’s face. But as he started to run off. Baldo thrust out his leg and tripped him.
n complete silence. Ambo easy got up from the dust. acquiring to his pess with both custodies full of sand which once more he cast at his older brother.
Baldo put down the puppy and leaped upon Ambo. Sing the black-spotted puppy toddling off. Ambo turned around and made a honkytonk for it. Baldo saw his purpose in clip and both fell on the puppy which began to ululate aloud. fighting to acquire off. Baldo cursed Ambo and screamed at him as they grappled and rolled in the sand.
Ambo kicked and spot and scratched without a sound. He got clasp of Baldo’s hair and tugged with all his might.
They rolled over and over and so Baldo was sitting on Ambo’s back. pommeling him with his fists. He accompanied every blow with a expletive.
I hope you die. you small demon. ” he said between shortness of breath. for he was shouting and he could barely see.
Ambo wriggled and struggled and tried to seize with teeth Baldo’s legs. Failing. he buried his face in the sand and howled lustily.
Nana Elang called out in her tired. patient voice that if they didn’t halt their noise. they’d wake up their male parent and he’d whip them
Baldo now left him and ran to the black-spotted puppy which he caught up in his weaponries. keeping it against his pharynx.
Ambo followed. shouting out menaces and expletives. He grabbed the tail of the puppy and jerked hard.
The puppy howled piercingly and Baldo allow it travel. but Ambo kept clasp of the tail as the Canis familiaris fell to the land.
It turned about and snapped at the manus keeping its tail. Its crisp small teeth sank into the heavy border of Ambo’s thenar.
With a call. Ambo snatched away his manus from the oral cavity of the angered puppy.
At that minute the window of the house confronting the street was pushed violently unfastened and the boys’ male parent. Tang Ciaco. looked out.
He saw the blood from the tooth Markss on Ambo’s manus. He called out ineloquently and the two brothers looked up in surprise and fright.
Ambo hid his bitten manus behind him.
Baldo stopped to pick up the black-spotted puppy. but Tang Ciaco shouted huskily to him non to touch the Canis familiaris.
At Tang Ciaco’s angry voice. the puppy had crouched back snaping. its pink lips drawn back. the hair on its back rise.
“The Canis familiaris has gone huffy. ” the adult male cried. coming down hastily.
By the range in the kitchen. he stopped to acquire a ample piece of firewood. throwing an angry expression and a expletive at Nana Elang for allowing her boies play with the Canis familiariss. He removed a sliver or two. so hurried down the ladder. cursing in a loud angry voice.
Nana Elang ran to the room access and stood there mutely thumbing her skirt.
Baldo and Ambo awaited the coming of their male parent with fright written on their faces.
Baldo hated his male parent every bit much as he feared him. He watched him now with half a head to fly as Tang Ciaco approached with the piece of firewood held steadfastly in one manus.
He a large. gaunt adult male with thick bony carpuss and stoop shoulders. A short-sleeved cotton shirt revealed his sinewy weaponries on which the blood-vessels stood out like roots. His short bloomerss showed his bony-kneed. hard-muscled legs covered with black hair.
He was a carpenter. He had come place rummy the dark earlier. He was non an accustomed rummy. but now and so he drank great measures of basi and came place and crush his married woman and kids.
He would fault them for their difficult life and poorness. “You are a cocotte. ” he would howl at his married woman. and as he beat his kids. he would shout. “I will kill you both. you bastards. ”If Nana Elang ventured to remonstrate. he would crush them harder and cuss her for being an interfering prostitute.
“I am king in my house. ” he would state.
Now as he approached the two. Ambo cowered behind his senior brother. He held onto Baldo’s singlet. maintaining his hurt manus at his dorsum. unable to take his regard from his father’s close-set. red-specked eyes.
Baldo laid a manus on Ambo as they moved back hurriedly.
He wanted to state his male parent it was non true. the Canis familiaris was non huffy. it was all Ambo’s mistake. but his lingua refused to travel. The puppy attempted to follow them. but Tang Ciaco caught it with a sweeping blow of the piece of firewood. The puppy was flung into the air. It rolled over one time before it fell. ululating weakly.
Again the ball of firewood descended. Tang Ciaco grunting with the attempt he put into the blow. and the puppy ceased to ululate. It lay on its side. feebly traveling its jaws from which dark blood oozed.
Once more Tang Ciaco raised his arm. but Baldo all of a sudden clung to it with both custodies and begged him to halt.
“Enough. male parent. plenty. Don’t beat it any longer. ” he entreated. Tears flowed down his lifted face.
Tang Ciaco shook him off with an curse. Baldo fell on his face in the dust. He did non lift. but cried and sobbed and tore his hair. The beams of the lifting Sun fell brilliantly upon him. turned to gold the dust that he raised with his kicking pess.
Tang Ciaco dealt the battered puppy another blow and at last it lay limpy still. He kicked it over and watched for a mark of life. The puppy did non travel where it lay twisted on its side.
He turned his attending to Baldo.
“Get up. ” he said. huskily. forcing the male child with his pes.
Baldo was deaf. He went on weeping and kicking in the dust.
Tang Ciaco struck him with the piece of wood in his manus and once more told him to acquire up.
Baldo writhed and cried harder. clasping his custodies over the dorsum of his caput.
Tang Ciaco took clasp of one of the boy’s weaponries and jerked him to his pess. Then he began to crush him. regardless of where the blows fell.
Baldo encircled his caput with his loose arm and endeavor to liberate himself. running around his male parent. immersing backward. duck hunting and distortion.
“Shameless boy of a prostitute. ” Tang Ciaco roared. “Stand still. I’ll Teach you to obey me. ”
He shortened his clasp on the arm of Baldo and laid on his blows.
Nana Elang came down. but she hesitated at the pes of the ladder.
Ambo ran to her.
“You excessively. ” Tang Ciaco cried. and struck at the flying Ambo.
The piece of firewood caught him behind the articulatio genuss and he fell on his face.
Nana Elang ran to the fallen male child and picked him up. brushing his apparels with her custodies to agitate off the dust.
Tang Ciaco pushed Baldo toward her.
The male child tottered frontward decrepit. dazed and trembling. He had ceased to shout aloud. but he shook with difficult. spasmodic shortness of breath which he tried in vain to halt.
“Here take your kid. ” Tang Ciaco said. thickly.
He faced the funny pupils and neighbours who had gathered by the side of the route. He yelled at them to travel off. He said it was none of their concern if he killed his kids.
“They are mine. ” he shouted. “I feed them and I can make anything I like with them.
The pupils ran hurriedly to school. The neighbours returned to their work.
Tang Ciaco went to the house. cussing in a loud voice. Passing the dead puppy. he picked it up by its hind legs and flung it off.
The black and white organic structure soared through the sunstruck air ; fell among the tall maize behind the house.
Tang Ciaco. still cussing and grouching. strode upstairs. He threw the ball of firewood beside the range. He squatted by the low tabular array and began eating the breakfast his married woman had prepared for him.
Nana Elang knelt by her kids and dusted their apparels.
She passed her manus over the ruddy wales on Baldo. but Baldo shook himself off. He was still seeking to halt sobbing. pass overing his cryings away with his forearm.
Nana Elang put one arm around Ambo. She sucked the lesion in his manus. She was shouting mutely.
When the female parent of the puppies returned. she licked the staying four by the little span of woven split bamboo. She lay down in the dust and suckled her immature. She did non look to lose the black-spotted puppy.
Afterward Baldo and Ambo searched among the tall maize for the organic structure the dead puppy.
Tang Ciaco had gone to work and would non be back till twilight.
In the house. Nana Elang was busy rinsing the breakfast dishes. Subsequently she came down and fed the female parent Canis familiaris.
The two brothers were wholly hidden by the tall maize workss. As they moved approximately among the slender chaffs. the corn-flowers shook agitatedly. Pollen scattered like gold dust in the Sun. falling on the fuzzy· green foliages.
When they found the dead Canis familiaris. they buried it in one corner of the field. Baldo dug the grove with a sharp-pointed interest. Ambo stood mutely by. keeping the dead puppy. When Baldo finished his work. he and his brother gently placed the puppy in the hole.
Then they covered the Canis familiaris with soft Earth and stamped on the grave until the disturbed land was level and difficult once more.
With trouble they rolled a large rock on top of the grave.
Then Baldo wound an arm around the shoulders of Ambo and without a word they hurried up to the house.
The Sun had risen high above the Katayaghan hills. and warm. aureate sunshine filled Nagrebcan. The mist on the baccy Fieldss had wholly dissolved.