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The Short Form

“Morning in Nagrebcan”

Manuel Arguilla

Excerpt

Ambo rose to his feet. He looked longingly at the black-spotted puppy in Baldo's arms. Suddently he bent down and tried to snatch the puppy away. But Baldo sent him sprawling in the dust with a deft push. Ambo did not cry. He came up with a fistful of sand which he flung in his brother's face. But as he started to run away, Baldo thrust out his leg and tripped him. in complete silence, Ambo slowly got up from the dust, getting to his feet with both hands full of sand which again he cast at his older brother. Baldo put down the puppy and leaped upon Ambo.

Seeing the black-spotted puppy waddling away, Ambo turned around and made a dive for it. Baldo saw his intention in time and both fell on the puppy which began to howl loudly, struggling to get away. Baldo cursed Ambo and screamed at him as they grappled and rolled in the sand. Ambo kicked and bit and scratched without a sound. He got hold of Baldo's ear and hair and tugged with all his might. They rolled over and over and then Baldo was sitting on Ambo's back, pommeling him with his fists. He accompanied every blow with a curse. “I hope you die, you little demon,” he said between sobs, for he was crying and he could see. Ambo wriggled and struggled and tried to bite Baldo's legs. Failing, he buried his face in the sand and howled lustily.

We read it in Philippines Free Press.

Full story online.