Monday, October 14, 2013

RUNT OF THE LITTER - My Unfinished Novel

Sherry’s Story

Around four years ago, in the year 2009, I started writing a novel for children.

The novel was called RUNT OF THE LITTER - Sherry’s Story. It was the life story of pet dog.

I prepared a book proposal comprising a synopsis and three chapters and sent it to a few publishers.

The response was not encouraging. It appeared that commercially there was no market for such novels (there was a flood of campus romances those days)

Meanwhile, there was a very encouraging response to publish my anthology of short stories, so I focussed on getting the book COCKTAIL ready for publication (the book was published in March 2011) and the children’s novel was left unfinished and abandoned.

Should I revive RUNT OF THE LITTER and complete the book?  

Dear Reader, you tell me.

Here is the synopsis and prologue.

(I will also post a few chapters in my blog from time to time as I finish writing them)

RUNT OF THE LITTER – Sherry’s Story
A Novel for Children by VIKRAM KARVE


All our babies entered our lives unplanned.

We got our first baby a few days after our wedding.

Now please don’t let your imagination run wild.

Our first baby was a canine daughter, a cute little cuddly snow-white “ball-of-wool” Lhasa Apso one month old puppy girl gifted to us during our honeymoon in the hills.

We promptly named her Sherry, meaning Beloved.

Everyone was aghast.

Most of our friends and relatives did not recommend having a pet when we were just starting our new married life together, especially since it was an arranged marriage, and husband and wife needed time together to get to know each other better.

“Wouldn’t the pet dog ruin all the fun and romance you newly weds are supposed to enjoy during the blossoming days of your marriage?” my mother-in-law asked.

“A pet dog is a big encumbrance,” my mother said, “You’ll be tied down to the house and won’t be able to go anywhere.”

All these fears were totally unfounded.

Far from being an encumbrance, Sherry filled our lives with fun, delightful joy and happiness and enlivened those early days of our marital relationship. 

My newly wed wife and I were like strangers, quite incompatible, with differing tastes and lifestyles, and it was Sherry who was the cementing bond of our marital relationship.

In fact the only thing my wife and I had in common was that we were both ardent dog lovers.

In due course, with nature taking its own course, we had our two human babies, a son and a daughter, but Sherry still remained the apple of our eyes till she passed away many years later.

I can never forget the sad evening when she died at my feet after her evening walk in Girinagar.

We were so distraught and heartbroken at the loss of our pet that we vowed to never have a pet dog again.

Many years later my much-married darling wife, by pure coincidence, accompanied her sister to the bungalow of an acquaintance in Pune.

There she chanced upon a majestic Doberman mother who had given birth to a large litter of eleven pups just a few days ago. 

Most of the pups were healthy, handsome and smart and were already sold or booked by discerning dog lovers.

Suddenly my wife noticed a sickly, ugly, emaciated weakling lying distraught and hapless, being pushed away by her strong aggressive siblings, whenever she tried get close to her mother’s nipple trying to feed herself.

“She’s the last of the litter, the eleventh pup, the runt of the litter, and it looks like she will die as she can’t feed herself from her mother. Even if she lives, we’ll have to get rid of her. We will have to dispose her off, leave her somewhere to fend for herself, for no one wants to take her,” the owner said.

“I will take her,” my wife said, overcome by a flood of compassion, and she picked up the feeble baby puppy in her soft hands.

“Are you crazy?” her sister said. “Have you asked your husband?”

“I don’t need to,” my wife said with confidence and brought the scrawny little creature straight home and deposited her in my hands.

“Sherry!” I said holding the frail, terrified, shivering puppy dog and my wife nodded in agreement.

I rushed to the market, bought a feeding bottle and soon Sherry was drinking warm milk cuddled up in my hands.

With the nourishment of love, Sherry blossomed, and soon became the apple of our eye, and added a new zest and joy in our lives.

Our human children are now grown up and have flown away from the nest, busy with their careers.

Now it our canine daughter Sherry who brightens up our lives and fills up our empty nest.

Oh, yes, as my kids say, Sherry is my favourite child.

My wife is quite busy with her job so I have become the de-facto mother and father to Sherry.

In fact, I have invested more love, time and effort in pet parenting Sherry than I spent in parenting my own children, which was my wife’s province, as then I was quite busy with my career.

I want to tell you all about my life with Sherry, about her naughty pranks and fun and frolic, and the trials and tribulations in our lives. I told Sherry about it.

But Sherry insisted that she would like to tell the story herself.

So, I shall now let Sherry tell you her life story and I am sure you will enjoy it.


This morning I did the unthinkable.

I was in deep sleep in my den when my father lovingly tried to tuck me up with a blanket since it was cold.

Out of reflex I snapped at him.

He did not say anything, he did not scold me, he just behaved as if nothing had happened.

But I could sense that he was very upset.

You humans can hide your emotions from another human but you cannot hide your emotions from your dog.

I felt very bad and so I tried my best to make up, gave him a shake hand, raised myself on my hind legs and begged for forgiveness and like always he melted and smiled and fondled me.

My father has been so good to me.

He is the only thing I have in the world and for him too, I am the only thing he has.

He sacrificed his career and his family life just for me.

While we were on our evening walk in the hills of Girinagar, my father told me that he was going to write a book about our life.

I told him that I wanted to write the story, I wanted to write my own life story.

So he said yes and here I am penning my story, our story, a love story.

Yes, this is a love story, a unique love story of a different kind, the story of agape unconditional pure love between a man and a dog.

(As I write this, Sherry, now seven and half years old, is sunning herself in the balcony and looking at me from time to time)

Copyright © Vikram Karve 
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work. 
© vikram karve., all rights reserved. 

All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.
Copyright © Vikram Karve (All Rights Reserved)

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Did you like this story?  
I am sure you will like the 27 short stories from my recently published anthology of Short Fiction COCKTAIL
To order your COCKTAIL please click any of the links below:
If you prefer reading ebooks on Kindle or your ebook reader, please order Cocktail E-book by clicking the links below:

Foodie Book:  Appetite for a Stroll
If your are a Foodie I am sure that you will like my book of Food Adventures APPETITE FOR A STROLL. Do order a copy from FLIPKART:

About Vikram Karve

A creative person with a zest for life, Vikram Karve is a retired Naval Officer turned full time writer and blogger. Educated at IIT Delhi, IIT (BHU) Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale and Bishops School Pune, Vikram has published two books: COCKTAIL a collection of fiction short stories about relationships (2011) and APPETITE FOR A STROLL a book of Foodie Adventures (2008) and is currently working on his novel and a book of vignettes and an anthology of short fiction. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories and creative non-fiction articles on a variety of topics including food, travel, philosophy, academics, technology, management, health, pet parenting, teaching stories and self help in magazines and published a large number of professional  and academic research papers in journals and edited in-house journals and magazines for many years, before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for 15 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing and blogging. Vikram Karve lives in Pune India with his family and muse - his pet dog Sherry with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts.

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© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

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