Ariman, the 14-year-old son of a Kurdish family who lived on the third floor of an apartment building, turned around on his trials bike as usual. The only strange thing was that Martha Gruber, the bitter old lady on the first floor, had not yet expressed her displeasure. Until now she had never let a day go by without taking advantage of every opportunity that presented itself. After all, she has something to complain about in everything. „Don’t drive so fast“ or „Don’t be sore if you hit something“ or „Don’t make such a lot of noise all the time“ were some of the verbal attacks against the boy. „Remember she only lost her husband a year ago,“ Liloz, Ariman’s mother, would remind him every time he came home saddened by such attacks, „Now she’s all alone and Christmas is coming up.“ She was right, Ariman had to admit. He had his family, mom, dad and two sisters, only the old woman had nobody. Well, that wasn’t entirely true. There was Cora, her Golden Retriever bitch, who was also elderly, and with whom Martha Gruber went for a walk twice a day, always at the same time, always the same route.

„Speaking of Cora,“ thought Ariman suddenly when he saw the dog sitting on the side of the road, „No nagging from Mrs. Gruber and then Cora alone, something can’t be right.“ He braked abruptly and leaned his bike against one lantern and walked towards the bitch. After no one was around, he decided to go home with her. He would find out what had happened. Just as he was about to open the front door, his mother appeared, who seemed very relieved that Ariman wasn’t alone. „I found her on the side of the road and took her with me,“ he confessed to his mother. „You did well,“ Liloz explained, stroking her son’s dark curls, which made him flinch immediately. „Not mom, if anyone sees that,“ he whispered, making Liloz laugh. „Did something happen?“ he asked, in a normal voice. „Mrs. Gruber fell while she was walking with Cora,“ said his mother, „she must have slipped and couldn’t get up. Someone then informed the rescue, who took her away. Cora obviously remained seated when her mistress was led away, calmly waiting for her to come back. She has such faith in life.” Liloz gently stroked the dog’s fur, and she happily wagged her tail. „Now she’s coming to us first and when Mrs. Gruber comes back, we’ll bring her back.“

Three days later, Martha Gruber returned to her home. She had pulled a femoral neck and had had surgery. Due to her good constitution, the doctor was able to let her go home after this short time. „Why are you in such a hurry?“ the doctor asked her. „I have to go home to my dog. I don’t know what’s up with her.” When she entered her apartment, she didn’t find Cora. She was terribly worried. „What happened to her? Had something happened to her?“, she asked herself, „And even if not, what had she lived on for those three days?“ To her delight and astonishment, she found out from the neighbor that Cora had stayed with these Kurds on the third floor and her son, this Ariman, the one with the funny bike, now goes for a walk with her every day. “He actually did that for me?” thought Mrs. Gruber, “And that, when I was always so mean to him. But I’ll make it up to him.” Without further ado, she left the baffled neighbor and took the elevator up to the third floor. Even before the elevator doors had opened, she heard Cora’s joyful barking. A few moments later she was back with Cora. Ariman stood next to her. „I heard that you took care of my dog while I was in the hospital,“ said Martha Gruber, unusually gently, „I can’t tell you how grateful I am to you and I wanted to apologize for my behavior. You’re a great boy.” “I’d also like to continue taking care of her as long as you…” Ariman replied shyly, obviously trying to find the right words. „As long as I have to walk around with this strange walker, you wanted to say,“ Martha Gruber helped him along. „Yeah, something like that,“ Ariman replied quietly. „That’s great of you,“ said Ms. Gruber, who had finally understood that Ariman didn’t want to annoy her, but just had joy in life, a joy that Martha Gruber had lost for so long. And also the trust. Ariman had given her both back.

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