Caronang by Eka Kurniawan – LONTAR, 2016

“We never let it go outside, and we hid it whenever we had guests. The only person who knew we had a pet caronang was the old friend of mine who’d introduced me to the animal in the first place, in its natural habitat. But the animal itself quickly learned that this was all for its own good and that if anyone else knew of its existence, its peaceful life would soon come to an end.

At the time, we didn’t know that our own peaceful life was about to end. We knew one of the most enjoyable aspects of having a dog was to teach it to do things of no use to dogs. My wife trained it to fetch the newspaper from under the door and to bring me my shoes every morning before we became aware that it was capable of learning far more than a regular dog could. At the time, we would watch spellbound as it sat with Baby and busied itself with a colouring book. At the end of each day it would go bathe itself, shampooing its body, though with a clumsiness that tickled us. If it had been no more than a clever poodle, not a caronang, we would have gotten rich showing it at the circus.

Everything was going well until that one horrifying morning when it got out the hunting rifle, loaded it, and pulled the trigger. When it had learned how to use the gun, we hadn’t a clue. And it didn’t just know how to use the gun; it knew what a gun was for.”

Read the rest of Eka Kurniawan’s story.