The Pillais and the Maniams were neighbours. They were normally on good
terms with each other but problems arose when the Maniams brought home a
puppy. Somehow the puppy Hanu took a dislike to the gardener next door and
would bark fiercely whenever it saw him. This irritated the Pillais no end
and they began calling the puppy 'The Beast'. The Maniams loved their dog a
lot and soon the relationship between the two families turned sour. They
stopped speaking to each other completely and picked fights over the
Each family tried to outdo the other. If Mr Maniam parked
his car right in front of the Pillais house, blocking their entrance, then
Mr Pillai would return the favour by parking his car in front of the Maniams
house. Mrs Pillai and Mrs Maniam also vented their frustrations by hanging
their laundry over each other's walls. Worse still, even the Pillai and
Maniam children stopped playing with each other, affected by the feud
between their parents.
One night, Mr Maniam was awakened by Hanu's barking. After five minutes
of persistent noise, Mr Maniam went to the window to tell the puppy to be
quiet. He received the shock of his life. He saw a red glow in the kitchen
next door and thick smoke coming out of the air vents. The kitchen next door
was on fire! Hanu would not stop barking. Another neighbour switched on his
lights but still there was no sign of activity in the Pillai house.
Automatically, Mr Maniam rushed to his phone to call his neighbour.
When Mr Pillai finally picked up the phone, Mr Maniam told him about the
smoke and fire in the kitchen. At first, Mr Pillai did not believe him. But
when he went downstairs and saw the extent of the damage, he called the
local fire station, realizing there was no way he could douse the fire
himself, even with his neighbour's help.
The fire was quickly put out but the kitchen was severely damaged.
Luckily, nobody was hurt. The Pillais were most grateful to their neighbours
and especially to Hanu, who had saved their lives with his non-stop barking.
The two families began taking tentative steps towards mending their
relationship. The Pillais started buying dog treats for Hanu and even
offered to look after the animal when the Maniams went on holiday.
After that, the Pillais and the Maniams were the best of friends. They
both loved Hanu and for the Pillais, the dog had become their hero!