The Wild Humans vs the Civilized Animals
“We want justice ,We want justice” I heard someone shout. The cries only got louder and louder forcing me to abandon sleep. Who are these people? What are they protesting against? Why are they in my apartment? Several such questions occurred to my mind for which I had to find answers. The voices were coming from the adjacent living room. I was curious and at the same time scared. A strange sunken feeling had taken over my senses.
“Who’s that?” I shouted. The loud voices paved way for silence. The protests stopped. (What was my companion doing? Was he not supposed to keep an eye when I was asleep or away). I entered the room cautiously. To my astonishment, I found a crowd of wild animals, birds, rodents and insects seated across a dining table. Each one was holding a placard with their protest registered on it. A wild elephant was seated at the center across the table. He was wearing half moon spectacles and was holding a wooden plank in his trunk. A name plate placed before him read ‘JUDGE’.
“Good morning” he greeted me. I pinched myself to make sure I wasn’t dreaming. “What are you animals doing here?” I asked them after garnering some courage. “We are running a special court against the atrocities committed by you. We are here for justice”. The elephant explained. “Justice my foot. First get out of here” I said arrogantly. “Another charge, insulting a judge during a trial”. The fox who was standing beside the elephant read aloud as he made notes.
“Each of the victims will read out a specific charge against you. And you will be allowed to defend yourself. Mrs. Cow kindly start the proceedings”. “Your honour, he is a thief” The cow said with tears trickling down her cheeks.
“Please control your emotions” The elephant consoled her. “Everyday he drinks my milk and deprives my new born of his birthright (the milk). My baby looks so under-nourished.” The cow alleged. “We want justice ” Others protested.
“Would you like to defend yourself?” Elephant asked. Everyone was staring in my direction. “The cows milk sucks. Its only because we humans add sugar and bournvita to it that it tastes better” I said without any sense of gratitude.
“SO you aren’t denying drinking her milk?” “No” “Mrs. Cow please sit down .May I request Mrs.. Hen to read out her charges?”. “Your honour, My eggs. My eggs…”The hen was sobbing. “Please Mrs. hen be strong. Speak up”. “He eats my eggs. He is more dangerous than a crocodile” Her sobbing continued.” He is a criminal. Several of my friends are slayed in the poultry farms to satisfy his hunger.”
“That is an extremely serious charge ” The elephant observed. “The Government says Sunday ho ya Monday roz khao undey” I teased the hen. “You aren’t denying that you are a criminal?” “I object” I raised my tone.”I am innocent until proven guilty.” “Objection overruled” The elephant raised his tone also.
“Your honour he even attempted murdering me thrice but luckily I escaped” The mouse cried foul this time. (I remember having chased the mouse unsuccessfully in my attempts to free the house off rodents).
“Do you accept this charge?” The elephant asked. I stood there motionless. ‘Iam superior to you all, fools. You were born to serve humans.’ This thought echoed in my mind. “Your silence only reflects your guilt.” The judge said. The trial continued.
One of the cockroach alleged that I distracted his girlfriends attention and scared her several times during their mating sessions at night. (‘By unnecessarily switching on the lights when I ventured into the kitchen for a glass of water’, I suppose) .He charged me with causing him severe emotional trauma because of my actions. ‘Little insect what value do your emotions hold for the mighty human ‘my mind asked.
A butterfly alleged that I crippled her by tearing off one of her wings when she entered my garden. (It happened in my childhood .I was fascinated by her colors). “It was my garden .You entered without permission’ I said adamantly. “He seems to have no remorse for his deeds” The elephant said angrily. I kept quiet.
The bee alleged that I destroyed his honeycomb and stole all his precious honey, few months back. He was angry and wanted to sting me as he said that but was stopped by the elephant from doing so. “precious?” I get a bottle of honey for a mere 50 rs” I ridiculed the bee. The ants alleged that I curtailed their movements by drawing lakshman rekha all over the walls. (Lakshman rekha is an insecticide) “You useless ants. First ask yourselves, what’s the purpose of your life “.The arrogance in me had increased 100 times since the trial begun.
After listening to a series of charges leveled against me, the elephant spoke again. “The court gives you one last chance to defend yourself” “I’ve already clarified my position” I said. “Ok then, after listening to the various charges ,the court holds mr. Dur guilty under the following acts of crime.”
1)Consuming milk and depriving a calf of its birth right.
2)stealing eggs and murdering hens.
3)chasing a rat with an intent to kill.
4)causing grave emotional trauma to a cockroach by infringing upon his privacy.
5)Seriously injuring a butterfly.
6)Destroying a honeycomb and rendering the bee’s homeless.
7)illegally curtailing the movement of ants.
And the verdict is that he shall be trampled under my feet till death.”
The animals screamed in joy. The hen and the mouse were hugging each other. The cockroach and the bees were dancing. Everyone was celebrating in their own way. The elephant started moving in my direction and for the first time I realized the gravity of the situation.. My heartbeat increased a thousand fold. Was he really going to trample me? Was I going to die? The fear of death engulfed my senses. “Please don’t harm me” I pleaded. The ignorance, arrogance, the sense of pride all seemed to have vanished on realizing how close I was to death.
‘Do the animals feel the same way when they are about to be slaughtered to satisfy the human needs? ‘My inner voice asked. ‘Do they also find themselves helpless like how I was feeling at the moment?’ .Just when the elephant was all set to crush me something magical happened.
“Mercy ,my lord mercy…”I heard my companion’s my pet dog) voice. “Who are you?” the elephant thundered.
“Your honour I am his pet (Pintu). I have something important to disclose here” “But the verdict is announced”.
“Please my lord. This is a question of life and death.” The elephant pushed me out of the way and indicated Pintu to go ahead with what ever he had to say. I heaved a sigh of relief.
“Your honour, I am the real culprit. I am an equal partner in the crime .I need milk, eggs everyday. I even eat chicken during weekends. He provides me all that .He has been a wonderful master over the years. Who will look after me if he is dead?”
“But that is not reason enough to let him free.” “You honour, I have something to say “The snake said in a hissing tone. Pintu had brought along with him a handful of creatures to prove my worth for the animal race. The snake testified how I had saved him once from a group of notorious youth’s. Then there were pigeons who testified that I fed them grains without fail during my routine morning walks. Then there was my girlfriends cat who testified how nicely I had taken care of her whenever I met her in my girlfriends apartment.
After a long silence the the elephant finally spoke. “This is a very tricky situation. Though it is proven that Mr.. Dur is guilty, the newly emerged facts also point to the fact that he has a soft corner for the animals. The dog and the pigeons are his immediate dependents. Punishing Mr. Dur means indirectly punishing them for no fault of theirs. The court has decided therefore to let him free if he assures us of no further atrocities against the animal community.”
“I will abide by the courts decision” I said humbly and the trial ended.
My act of saving the snake had a spiritual connection. I consider them sacred due to their association with lord shiva (my favourite deity). Thus, I saved the snake ,not wanting to invoke the god’s wrath ,and not because I wanted to save him genuinely. Feeding the pigeons in full view of the people ,in the parks, is one of the coolest things to do. Since the time I’ve started doing it I’ve noticed that a considerable number of good looking girls in my locality have started noticing me :)feeding pigeons doesn’t imply that I am fond of them. The cat, extremely dear to my girlfriend ,had played a crucial role in my attempts to woo my girl friend. ‘She is your license to my heart’ my girl friend had said on several occasions left no stone unturned in taking care of the cat. At one point I even asked myself ‘Whether I was in love with the cat or her mistress’. So my every act of compassion had a selfish motive behind it. But then the trial had changed my perspective of animals completely. Pintu was no longer servant and I wasn’t his master. We were best friends. I took him in arms with utmost affection and he was licking my face ,expressing his love. He went on licking until I opened my eyes. I woke up that morning to a whole new world of reality.
Contributed By: Durgesh Shastri, I am a post graduate in computers located in Bangalore aged 25,writing is my passion.:) firstname.lastname@example.org
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