My Peculiar Master

J. Francois Barnard – 7 July 2011

It was quite cold this morning, and being overcast the weather slowed all of us down. I have already served the Master his breakfast and was in the kitchen preparing my own when I noticed him heading for the door. I dropped everything immediately and rushed there to open it for him. He just brushed past me without a word.

But having served him for so long now, I already know this daily routine. Come rain or shine, the Master will go out. Maybe hesitantly sometimes, but out he will go.

As I was frying eggs in a pan, I could see him in my mind's eye standing on his stoep, looking out over his garden. He would hesitate for a moment and then enter it with firm strides. He will stop at some plants, inhaling the morning air, and then wander at a leisure pace to the corner where he will disappear behind the large palm leaves.

But maybe it was too cold this morning. Maybe he would be quicker at it.

I knew what he was doing there, and it pained me greatly. We have done so much to keep his house in a pristine condition, and yet, my peculiar Master will go into the garden to urinate behind shrubs and bushes!

We never talk about it though. Yet we both, Master and Servant, know that the other knows. These are those secrets all know about but never talk about. I so wish it was different.

I then noticed a movement in the garden and realized that my Master was heading back to the door, and it was cold! I got up from the kitchen table leaving my hot breakfast and headed for the door.

By now he was walking up the corridor between the house and the perimeter wall, thinking that I would have had the door closed for the cold, and that I would not open immediately. I knew he was already furious. I knew he was telling himself that he would wait and wait at the door to no avail, and I grabbed the handle.

As the door swung open, he stood there, staring me down with his penetrating eyes. I looked down.

“Meeeeeow!”, he said as he entered.

I knew what it meant: “You can shove your bloody door!”