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Luci hates crows. They gather to eat the leftover food. Not that she wants the leftovers for herself. But then, she is more possessive about what she doesn’t want than what she does. So it wasn’t particularly surprising to find her running out barking when she heard the crows squabbling over the three buns we had left out for them on the tin roof of the odds and ends room.

Now, Luci is no fan of buns. And yet, when the warring crows inadvertently dropped one, she pounced on it with alacrity and ran back inside triumphantly. Gotcha there, crows! All that the crows must have had time to register was a shadow making off with their dropped bun. Worse luck. There was nothing to do, except go back and fight over what was left of the other two.

That is how Luci came to have a bun in her possession, a bun stolen off the crows. My mother wasn’t too pleased about Luci leaving the bun around on the floor. Do you want ants all over the floor? she asked Luci. Shame on you, stealing from the crows! Luci didn’t bother to reply. What mother did next was take the bun when Luci wasn’t looking, and throw it in a remote corner of the backyard.

Out on her post lunch run around the house, Luci returned home victorious, the bun secure in her mouth. Gotcha there, hoomans! From then on it was: Wherever that Luci went, the bun was sure to go. Not on its own, of course, having no legs, but stuffed in Luci’s cavernous mouth. It went upstairs to the bedroom to sleep with her, came downstairs to loll in front of the couch and watch TV with the rest of the family, rested on the kitchen floor watching me cook, till one night Luci grew lax and forgot to take it to bed with her.

This was the opportunity the L&M was waiting for. The bun was quietly dealt with, left outside with other unwanted stuff, to be carried away by the waste collector on her rounds. When Luci came downstairs the next morning, she didn’t look for the bun. It was as if she knew that the bun was gone forever. It had been good while it lasted and that’s what mattered. Besides, there would always be other things the butter-clawed crows dropped, may be a dead rat, if she were so lucky. Luci waits, hopefully.

© Shail Mohan 2019