Summary | Malgudi Days by R.K. Narayan

This dog was like any other dog you commonly find in street, born in the street and living off the scrapes and garbage of the marketplace and his body, full of scars from hundreds of fights against other dogs. It lives like this for three years until its life turned around when a blind beggar comes every day with an old woman leading him every morning to the market gate and she gives him food at noon and picks him up at night.

The dog was sleeping nearby and it woke up from the smell of food. It went near the beggar and starts to eat beggar’s food. The beggar noticed him and lets the dog eat his food. This is where their friendship started.

They meet every day at the market gate.  He sits beside him and watches him receive alms all day. Eventually, it understood what it is and became adapted to the lifestyle of the beggar. Whoever doesn’t give coins to the beggar, chases them and bites them by their clothes, and drags them and won’t let go of them until they give coins.

Every Thursday, a mischievous village urchin comes to bully the beggar and give trouble to him. The beggar called the dog beside him and begged it to protect him. When the urchin started to bully him, the dog jumped on him and snapped the wrist. Then, the urchin ran for his life.

One evening, the old woman had not come to pick up the beggar like how she usually does. The beggar became more worried as time pass by. Finally, a neighbor came to him but unfortunately, he brings bad news. The old woman has died. The blind beggar lost the only home he had and the only person who cared for him. A ribbon-vendor gave the beggar a white tape and the beggar uses it to tie it to the dog.

The dog became a slave to the beggar and he named the dog “Tiger”. It navigates the beggar. His freedom has been lost and his only limits became as far as the tape goes. As time passed by, the beggar grew greedier and greedier. He now wishes to go around town to ask for alms. They walk around all day. Every time, the dog does whatever it wishes, instinct or not, but it is not the wish of the beggar, the dog is punished horribly. It has never rested when it wanted to and only rests that are granted to the dog when the blind beggar is resting also. He is now forever stuck at the end of the tape while the other end is at the hands of the cruel beggar. The dog lost its past appearance and grew thinner.

The ribbon-vendor sees them every day and witnesses the abuse of the blind beggar to the dog. He wanted to take action and gather vendors around him such as the perfume vendor. They decided to free the dog from the hands of the cruel blind beggar.

One day, while the dog and the beggar were walking. The dog saw a bone and made a dash for it but the beggar pulled him. It made another dash into the bone, then the perfume vendor stepped up and he cut the tape. “Tiger! Tiger! Where are you?”, he cried. Then the dog picked up the bone and got away at his top speed, ditching the beggar behind.

The vendors watched the beggar struggle on his way and he was almost run over by the vehicles and moving cars. He curses the dog and swears if it comes back, he will kill it.

He was not seen for twenty days, nor the dog. The vendors commented that the dog must be very happy somewhere. They thought the beggar was gone forever but they were shocked when they saw the blind beggar with the dog tied up. When they asked him what happened when he was gone, they learned that the dog came back to him while sleeping the night before. He wanted to kill it but decided not to.

Now, he has steel chains to tie it to the dog and continues abusing the dog and making it a slave out of it. “Death alone can help that dog,” said the ribbon-vendor, saying it with a sigh. “What can we do with a creature who returns to his doom with such a free heart?”