Story Time

Dad Leaves Her on a Dirt Track. But Wait Till You See When He Checks the Rear-View Mirror…

The story first started turning heads in 2015 after a viral video showing a dad picking up a new addition to the family caused an online sensation. The short film shows the father driving up to what appears to be an orphanage where a young redhead girl is waiting for him on the steps. Then she climbs into the passenger seat and curls up, clutching her favorite doll. The girl seems a little shy at first, but her new dad gives her a gentle, reassuring pat on the head. She then musters a little smile, seemingly realizing that everything will be okay as they drive along, the dad eating a snack and the little girl looking at him wistfully.

Fortunately for her, the man shares a piece of his food and she devours it happily. The girl then returns to gazing out the window as the sun shines through the trees. At home, another girl is drawing a picture and her mom is giving her a kiss on the cheek. Just as Dad walks in with the redheaded youngster from the orphanage. This could be a moment of tension, but the other girl runs over excitedly to welcome the redhead, and the two bond immediately, then still clutching her favorite doll.

The redheaded girl shyly approaches Mom. A little nervous. She nevertheless allows mom and daughter to play with her hair, which is tied up in bunches. Her confidence grows in time, too, and she eventually plays with her new sister. However, after happy walks and Joyful playing on the riverbank, things start to change. Indeed, there appears to be a feeling of isolation for the redheaded girl. She becomes nervous around loud noises and she has a fear of bright lights. That’s when the bad behavior starts and things begin to go really wrong.

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For example, there’s spilled red wine on a white tablecloth that causes Mom to shout at the little girl. The daughter no longer wants to play with her either. And in Bordeaux, more frustration. The daughter starts pulling apart the girl’s favorite doll. So the redheaded girl starts to annoy Mom in the kitchen. Indeed, she tugs at Mom’s shirt while she’s doing the washing up, seeking the affection she so desperately needs. Mom pushes her away, however, and she grows increasingly annoyed with her as she persists.

The red-headed girl tries to play with Dad next, but he’s working out a computer and pushes her away. What’s more, she makes a mess while she’s playing and is never allowed to eat at the table with the rest of the family. With the girl now proving to be a nuisance and even a burden, the family seems to question why they welcomed her into their home in the first place. After all, they don’t have time for her and she’s too needy and demanding. Then they come up with a plan to deal with her and her unwanted behavior.

That’s when Dad drives her to a remote dirt road as he opens the passenger door to let her out of the car. He gives her one last gentle pat on her head to let her know that everything will be okay. He then distracts from what he’s actually about to do. Shockingly, he takes the doll and throws it far into the grass. Then as she runs to fetch it back, he climbs into the car and drives away. The girl stands and watches him disappear into the distance, helpless and alone.

Perhaps she’s thinking that he might come back as he drives even further from the spot where he left the little girl, though, he checks the rearview mirror. Is he regretting his decision to abandon her or is he checking that she’s not following him? Whichever it is. What he’s driving away from isn’t the redheaded girl you’d expect. Note what the driver sees in the rearview is in fact a dog waiting faithfully next to the battered down. The film is called Gift and it was made by the Hungarian production company Deadline’s Pictures to raise awareness of abused and abandoned animals. The story is told with the little girl as the central character to emphasize the idea of how heartless and wrong it would be to treat a family member of any species in such away.

Director Zofia Zuberi told Bored Panda We made the short film in order to draw attention to the abandoned, abused animals on the planet. Zuberi continued I truly think it’s just as important to understand that whatever happens to an animal could also happen to a child. Furthermore, Zuberi believes that those who abuse animals may likely abuse humans, which is why she felt it was so important to draw a parallel.

Zuberi said that she made the film deliberately stark in order to grab people’s attention and stand out. And it’s certainly done that, having been viewed more than 24 million times on YouTube to date. She explained I think it’s important to make movies that could influence others to rethink or even change things for the better in their own lives or in the way things are happening around them. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, around 7.6 million pets enter animal shelters each year. That breaks down to about 3.9 million dogs and 3.4 million cats. Of those, only 2.7 million ever find new homes, while the same number will sadly be put down. The canine star in the film is Heather, herself a rescue dog from the Hungarian animal shelter f AFP. And just in case you were wondering, Heather and the red-headed girl, Gypsy, were happy and well looked after during the production of this powerful.