Killing is a sin
Slavery is a crime.
Destroying humans’ homes is a felony.
Human trafficking is an unrighteous evil doing.
You are free to eat meat.
You are free to enslave animals.
You are free to trade animals.
You are free to uproot forests rendering countless animals homeless and erect your concrete jungle.
Right and wrong, how conveniently has man subjected them to his own needs and interests? The truth is that he is the least concerned with what is “right” or what is “wrong”. All he cares about is his own interests. Man is powerful, he is blessed with intelligence, he is mighty, so he is the appellant, he is the respondent and he is the judge, and even justice is his world is prejudiced.
But, as they say “unity is strength”. So if all the victimized classes unite their forces against him, would they show any mercy?
No . . . .. . . . . . . . nope . . . . . . . . . never. . . . . . . !
In one of the world’s most dense rainforests of Africa, lived the world’s most ferocious and majestic Lion; he was the high Emperor of all the Animals around the world. He was known to all animals as Emperor Madiba. As magnificent as it’s Lord, was this Ancient Jungle. The never-ending rains and the ever so fierce sun had made the trees grow so tall, their branches, creepers, wines and shrubs so thick and wide, that only a few refracted and filtered rays of the sun would reach ground. Where man was exploring space and time, here in the heart of earth, lay an untouched and undiscovered mystical land ruled by the Animal Kingdom. Even the mighty sun seemed powerless here. In this Modern era of scientific exploration, this was the animals’ heaven on earth. Such mystical caverns of ancient heritage, such legendary forests and such heavens of natural beauty unimpaired by modern society remained only one or two.
This forest was home to a wide variety of animals: tigers, cheetahs, lions, leopards, jaguars, Baboons, gorillas, chimpanzees, gibbons and orangutans, wolverines, minks, mongooses, weasels, mice, Giraffes, camels, rhinos, hippopotamus, pigs, buffaloes, cows, bulls, deer, antelopes, bats, bears, elephant, Pythons, anacondas, cobras like snakes, scorpions, millipedes, centipedes and many other insects and organisms dwelled here. This jungle was inhabited by some or the other species of all types of animals found on earth. The wild animals were so ferociously protective of their homes that even the most agile and skilled hunters feared to enter the forest. The lush green forest was a spectacle of serene beauty as far as the eyes could see. Everything was quiet and peaceful on the surface. But was there something more going on, than met the eyes?
A lot was stirring, a storm was coming. This serenity was like the silence before the storm. Dislike for humans in the hearts of animals had turned into hatred. Emperor Madiba had summoned an international council. A revolution was coming.
All animals had gathered around the Emperor’s den to discuss and contemplate over this very serious issue. Madiba’s lair was a cave inside tall rocks. It was a long cave expanding into deep caverns, which ran throughout a hill. It was so long that from within the cave Madiba and his pride could access many parts of the forest. Behind the hills was a huge waterfall, which flowed out into a beautiful river beyond. The rocky hills were surrounded by huge trees, so much so that from air the hills and the cave could not be seen. At one end of the caves stood a 200 years old banyan tree, the wines of which covered the entire cave. Adjacent to the other opening of the cave stood a flat rock slightly raised as a platform, it was from here that the Emperor addressed his subjects. To his right on another flat rock stood a great red fox and on his left was a crow. The fox’s name was “Folly”, she was a South American Red Fox. She had reached this high stature only because of her cleverness and brilliant presence of mind. Karwi, was the crow’s name, and he was the Commander of Madiba’s spy Army.
All animals, insects, bugs, moths, birds, reptiles, aquatic animals, amphibians and mammals living in the jungle were present in the meeting. Any animal living in any forest or city of the entire world, who wished to come, was present there. Almost all species of the animal kingdom like tigers, cheetahs, beers, horses, apes, elephants, mice, cats, dears, donkeys, reindeers, yaks, zebras, kangaroos, mongooses, giraffes, camels, rhinos, gorillas, chimpanzees and many other uncountable animals including even some endangered species like links, Chinese pandas, wolverines, American minks, black and snow leopards, had travelled from afar to participate in this grand meeting. Similarly, many birds like eagles, falcons, vultures, crows, parrots, Asian starlings, macaws, robins, hummingbirds, kingfishers, geese, flamingoes, pigeons, sparrows, herons, ducks, cranes, owls, chickens, peacocks, turkeys, kiwis, woodpeckers, ostriches etc. had flown down to attend the council. Animals had covered all the ground space while the birds were seated on the branches of trees. Lizards, snakes, chameleon, other reptiles and insects held on to barks of trees or seated themselves on twigs and leaves. The whole atmosphere was solemn and quiet. Wherever the animals found space, they stood or sat down. Their representatives stood ahead and behind them were a swarm of birds, animals and insects alike, covering miles and miles around Madiba’s lair.
Birds and those animals that could climb trees rested themselves on branches. Some were so overloaded that the trees seemed bent and branches touched the ground. Even the fishes and aquatic animals were making their presence in the narrow river flowing near Madiba’s cave. The pelagic organisms were unable to attend the council. So, one dolphin had made its way into the river to represent the oceanic world. Along with these fishes crocodiles, alligators, other sea creatures and amphibians like frogs, turtles, etc were also present in large numbers. Insects, mosquitoes, bugs and moths constituted the majority attending the meeting. As far as the eye could see leaves, trunks, wines and ground space between larger animals seemed to be cloyed with these insects. There was neither division nor discrimination between animals, birds or insects. Wherever they found a place appropriate for themselves, they stood. Aquatic animals were present in the river, land animals were on ground and birds were on trees, some birds were even perched on the backs of other larger animals. Such was the bonding between all creatures of the Animal Kingdom. Their aim was one; to be able to hear their king. They were eagerly waiting to know what he wanted to say, and so all of them sat close.
The anticipation was such, that apart from the sound of gushing water and the light rustle of the wind, no noise was to be heard. All waited quietly to hear their leader. All eyes and ears were on the platform, waiting for their emperor to arrive and address them. After what seemed like a very long time, the emperor appeared and all rose in respect. With a hand gesture, Madiba signaled them to take their seat. Folly, the fox, welcomed all, and began the proceedings of the meeting.
Emperor Madiba had a patient, solemn, and imposing personality. It was said that his growl could be heard from as far as five miles away. In spite of the large throng of crowd present, every last animal could hear his voice clearly when he began,
“My wild and domestic animals, first and foremost I would like to extend a warm welcome to all animals and their representatives present here. It gives me immense pleasure and satisfaction to see you all gathered here in such great numbers on my behest. Many of you have come from far off lands and have travelled long distances to reach us. I must express my special gratitude towards them. Today, I have summoned you all to discuss and contemplate over an extremely grave and pressing matter.
We live in the jungle and follow its laws. Some of us are compelled to slay other animals for food. But humans kill us for fun, to such an extent that the very existence of some of our species has become endangered and some have sadly become extinct. There was a time when man was one of us, but today he has changed and become completely engrossed in his own selfish interests. He thinks his intelligence sets him apart from us and is now intent on destroying our very existence. He has left us with very little space to eat and live peacefully. He has taken hold of our homes, is ruining our forests and erecting his concrete jungles everywhere. Man is not using us and nature, but misusing and exploiting it. He thinks we are trivial and treats us like his slaves. He has used each one of us for his own selfish needs. For his whims and fancies, he has hijacked our life’s freedom. He keeps us in cages. To cast us into his way of life, he has subjected us to great atrocities and horrible cruelty. Thousands of animals are forced to dance like puppets in human circuses. He has played with countless lives in the name of scientific experiments. Frogs, apes and many others are severed each day in his laboratories. They feed on our flesh because they have no control over their own ever-expanding population. Even innocent little fishes are killed and eaten by them. Countless kids, calves and chicks are slaughtered in front of their own parents. Don’t we feel pain? Or have we no concern for death? Man has acquired power, in his arrogance he has forgotten his natural companions and started exploiting them. Our lives, our very existence is in danger. If we do not act soon we will be doomed. Man is not unaware of the dangers we face, but in front of his own interest & desires everything else seems insignificant to him. His awareness and understanding of our problems, has brought no change in his attitude towards us. We have no greed to rule, no lust for power, but if we wish to live with our rights on this earth, we will have to destroy man. We must defeat him in war and terminate the human civilization.”
After completing his forceful speech, Madiba became quite for a while. No one was talking. Everyone was quiet. The entire assembly was dead still and there was gravity in the atmosphere. After a moment’s pause Madiba spoke again.
“For this reason I have gathered you all here. I plan to wage a war against man and for this I want your consent and support.”
At the end of this sentence, the silence was broken. War against man! All were utterly shocked. They couldn’t believe that they were gathered here today to discuss this matter. It was a nightmare for them. Such an ominous problem had never occurred in their lives. Perplexed, they started whispering amongst themselves. Discussions broke out all around in hushed voices. At this, Folly stood up and stressing on her words addressed the crowd.
“All animals and their representatives have the right to voice their opinions. Those in favor of war and those who are against it must fearlessly express themselves.”
Hearing this, the whispers lowered and gradually ended. Folly continued,
“This is an extremely crucial decision connected with all our lives. So there is no scope for doubt. The execution of this plan is dependent on your decisions. We need all your support. Without that, our plans are incomplete. But whatever you decide keep in mind this question: What do you want, your freedom of life, your existence or slavery of man? Now, one by one step forward and declare your stance.”
Instantly a few violent animals sitting on the ground shouted out, “We are ready, we are ready.” All heads turned towards them, their leader a tiger rose and said,
“Hail the Emperor! My lord we shall stand with you in the war. We have full faith in your leadership. We shall not hesitate in putting our lives on the line for you. Man has truly become selfish and barbaric. We must annihilate the human population. We shall rule the earth.” As soon as the tiger finished his sentence, the Elephant got up and spoke,
“Before we come to any conclusion we must reflect over the fact that this is a matter of life or death. A hasty decision may prove fatal for the entire animal population. We do not doubt our emperor’s leadership abilities, but fighting Humans is not a cake walk. War is not a game, the results of which affect only the heart or mind. Men have such modern weaponry that they could finish us off within minutes. Which of us animals standing here hasn’t been enslaved by them, who is unaware of their power? Can any of us face their arms? If we do go to war, then we shall have to face their bombs, tanks, cannons, missiles and machine guns. Their resources are too many, victory against them is impossible. I think, war against man is suicide. Incase if all animals do go to war, then we would like to support our King. But we must be rational and think about all the aspects of war. What if this war is an invitation to our own destruction?”
Before the Elephant could even sit, the Cheetah stood up and said in a fierce tone, “Such words do not suit an animal of your size; it seems that the elephant is trying to demoralize and scare us. Winning or losing is part of war. Doing nothing and sitting idle out of fear of loss is cowardice and we are not cowards!”
At that Folly the fox got up and appeased the Cheetah by saying,
“The elephant is entitled to his own opinion, and such questions are but natural. None of us is unacquainted with the power and strength of men. They have even conquered the moon. But before keeping this suggestion amidst you, we have considered all these issues; the king will shed more light on them later.”
When Folly finished, a jackal stood up and spoke,
“With the great Emperor Madiba on our side, who could possibly defeat us? We have with us ferocious animals like the cheetah, jaguar, elephants, bears and so on, who can crush men with their bare claws.”
Hearing this, now the Mouse got up and said,
“My lord, petite animals like me can be of what use in this battle? We can be of no help. Our participation in this war is meaningless, so it is better if we stayed away from it.”
One by one all animals put forth their views. The Dogs said,
“Throughout the world, we are renowned for our loyalty towards our masters. For more than 12000 years, my species has maintained an amicable relationship with men. Some of us are living in great conditions with men. They roam around in cars and live in grand bungalows. But, there is another aspect of this relationship. Most of us are living as stray dogs on the streets of their cities. We have barely enough to eat. Men tamed us and cast us into their way of living. Unable to eat anything else, we are now dependent on them for food. Even those of us who live with humans face many problems. Many of them cannot marry nor breed. Families prefer keeping either females or males, not both. If by chance any of them do have a litter, the young babies are separated from their mothers at once. We have just one problem in going to war, that our loyalty shall be stained forever, no man will ever trust us again. And if god forbids we lose, the dogs will have nowhere to go.”
In agreement with the dogs, the Horse said,
“Oh king! Our predicament is similar to that of the Dogs, but our main problem is independence. For thousands of years we have been their slaves. They have used us since centuries in their own wars. They have won so many wars with our help, but now they do not need us much. Some people still keep horses for fun and entertainment. But when we become old and useless they shoot us down. I am meant to fly. Earlier I would gallop around the world freely, but now locked up in stables, I feel stifled. We horses have served men with full dedication and honesty, but the change in their attitude towards us has left us feeling betrayed and agitated. Man does not need us anymore. So now even we desire freedom. I and my brothers are well acquainted with their war techniques; we could be of much use to you.”
The Cow complained,
“Same is with us. In India, I may be worshipped. But our reality is no different than all of you. Only till I give them milk, I am fed, afterwards I am left astray. I have to roam about in search of food. I cannot even feed milk to my calves properly. Despite all of these hardships, I have accepted my destiny. I have learned to stay satisfied with life. If the lord has forsaken us, no one can change our fate. May be this is penance for the sins of our past lives. We see no good in war. Violence and bloodshed are not the solution for any problem. I detest these. I believe we should think in some other direction. Along this, I neither have sharp claws nor strong jaws, only two horns which are not sufficient to kill. So I conclude by saying, we cows are not in favor of war.”
Bulls, donkeys and ponies spoke up.
“Our condition is most wretched and pitiful. We do the maximum amount of labor work and yet are brutally beaten up. We are obliged to eat whatever left over they give us; god knows when will our prayers be answered? We are with our king in this war. It is better to die a noble death in war than dying a little each day.”
On Behalf of Zebras, giraffes, antelopes and other herbivores the deer explained, “My Lord, irrespective of the outcome, this war shall benefit only the powerful, even if we do win, the strong animals will rule us. How will that change our plight? We agree that men kill us but even the carnivorous animals do the same to us. We are always at a disadvantage, what then is the purpose of our joining this battle?”
It was almost noon by the time all land animals expressed themselves. Now it was the aquatic animals’ turn. Before hearing them the emperor asked all animals to take some time off for lunch. But the seriousness of the matter at hand had killed their appetites. Hence, they insisted on continuing the discussion without any disturbance. One dolphin who was the representative of all oceanic creatures was present there. It is the only fish, which has lived in both salty and fresh waters. No other fish has yet attempted to do so. She spoke thus.
To the Emperor Madiba of the forest, I bring greetings from our Queen Shark Silica of the Ocean. I had not the slightest idea, that the matter being discussed in this international council would be as critical and consequential as combating human beings. Hence I cannot guarantee our participation in this war. I have heard what the other animals have said and their problems in fact seem no different than ours. Although man has been unable to take over our homes, yet he has put constrains on our liberty. There has been an uncontrolled rise in fishing. Millions of fishes are captured by them each day. Our existence is as much in danger as yours. Whales, octopuses, many other pelagic organisms have come to the edge of extinction. Man is as great an adversary for us as he is for you. I shall try and explain your plans to our Queen as best as I can and I hope we can fight this war as allies.”
Emperor Madiba replied, “Tell your Queen, I shall meet her in person after this council comes to an end. I shall be very grateful if she tries to understand us. And I hope we will receive the alliance of our oceanic friends in this epic war.”
Then addressing the river animals he said, “I would now like to hear, what small fishes of the river have to say in this matter.”
One Rohu fish spoke up on behalf of the small fishes, “Many of our species are also dying. We are killed by humans and big fishes alike. Although both sides of the coin are unfavorable for us, yet man is our bigger enemy. If this war happens and all aquatic animals support you, then by our Queen’s order we too shall support you.”
Among the river animals crocodiles and alligators were superior and they rained here. They were highly offended that the small fishes were asked for their opinion before them. Fuming their leader said, “My ancestors have lived on the face of this earth for more than 6500 years. Is our advice insignificant here?”
This statement put the emperor in a fix. To deal with the awkwardness of the situation, Folly the fox intervened, “We beg your pardon, we earnestly value your opinion and would definitely like to hear your point of view.”
“It is alright,” said the alligator “When all of us are deciding to fight together there can be no scope for such differences. Irrespective of whether the fishes help you or not we are ready to join forces with the animals.” This is how the crocodiles and alligators gave their consent.
It was now the insects’ turn, so the grasshopper said,
“We have been struggling against man since the beginning of time, and a battle will be nothing new for us. It is we who have already wage a war with man. On one hand men kill us and use us for their needs. On the other we are dependent on their harvest, grains, agricultural products and blood for sustenance. It could be said that we are constantly at war; we are the biggest cause of trouble for them. More than 2 million people around the world are killed by the mosquitoes alone each year. None the less victory against man and to rule over them will be glorious for us. We pledge allegiance to all animals in this noble cause.”
One mosquito shouted excitedly, “I will enjoy sucking their blood! Streams of blood will flow and we shall bathe in it.”
“Quiet little Bheem, quiet” Other silenced the mosquito.
Only the birds had not spoken yet. One vulture perched on the branch of a tree close to the Emperor declared,
“We birds are also divided. Where the carnivores are all set to fight, the smaller birds are undecided, they are scared. They do believe that man has abused them most. It is man who has locked them up in cages. If man is over thrown, their fear of death will be much lesser. But they doubt their usefulness in this war. They cannot kill anyone, so they suggest that we should find another way out.”
After listening to all the animals, Folly got up and after a brief dialogue with the Emperor she addressed the assembly.
“The Emperor has heard all of you closely; he understands your fears and empathizes with your problems. All of you have declared your decisions, but still we do not know the stance of the Polar animals like penguins, seals, etc. we have sent the Kite “Jawa” as our royal representative to converse with them, as it is difficult for them to travel to our hot region. He should have arrived before the council begun, but he is late. I hope his arrival soon and then we shall know their vote as well.” Before the fox could even finish, the kite flew in from somewhere and rested himself on a small rock besides the emperor.
Kite Jawa first greeted emperor Madiba. Folly, the fox reciprocated him and said, “You are welcome kite Jawa. We were desperately waiting for you. As you are coming from a long journey, take rest for a while and then say.”
A mayhem has occurred on arrival of kite Jawa. Jawa was looking a bit nervous. He wants to express himself immediately, but the emperor signaled him to take a little rest. After a few minutes sigh Jawa expressed himself,
“My lord, I have delivered your message to the frozen land dwellers. I tried my best to convince them. But. . .
When I flew from Cape town and reached to Antarctica, it was completely new experience for me. There was snow everywhere. Wherever you could see, it was ice and only ice. The mountains were of ice, the rivers were of ice. Neither any greenery nor any foliage but only ice miles long and Penguins scattered on these icy land as fauna. It was day there, and penguins were playing in this shiny weather. I was wondering for a suitable place to be seated and I got it very soon. It was a hard black rock situated in between the field. It was the place from where I can cover all the animals scattered in surrounding. Hence I took my seat there.
My arrival at their land created great chaos. They surrounded me and stared at me as if I were some alien. I can hear them easily. A penguin was questioning to other,
“Who is this stranger? It doesn’t look like us.”
“He came from sky, may belongs to humans.” Another penguin said in apprehension.
I was astonished to hear them. They found it impossible to believe that other animals like us lived in any other parts of the world. Their entire world is their Iceland; they do not know anything beyond that. The only outsiders they recognize and fear are the humans. I managed to convince them about the existence of many other animals in various parts of the world. Somehow I was able to make them believe that other animals do live on earth and that their Emperor had sent them a message. I addressed them,
“Don’t be frightened! I am just like you. The world used to know me as Kite.”
“Surprised! Surprised! You are saying that you are alike us, but it doesn’t seem true. Neither your appearance match with us nor we have seen you here ever before.” A seal told.
“I do not reside here. We with our billions of friends and fraternity live thousands miles away from here. There are millions of animal species who are living with each other with all companions and compassion.”
“Thousand miles away? Different kind of animals! Is there any other world truly exist beyond this boundary. A penguin asked.
When they got little acquitted with me, they fired a lot of question on me. One after another. A walrus asked to me.
“Is that the same place, where humans used to live.”
“But why you are here. What is the purpose and what you are expecting to us? How can we be beneficial for you? How can we help you?”
“I am here with the message of my lord king Madiba for you. You are well acquitted with humans. He has left no stone unturned for our demolition. Many species among us are on the verge of extinction. So all of us have agreed to take revenge and decided to wage a war against humans for the sake of our existence. Therefore we need your help, your cooperation in this great and noble cause.”
“Why should we help you? We are not much acquitted with your sorority. Even humans are more familiar to us than you.”
“Humans are selfish. They are killing us exhaustively and barbarously. They will not spare even you. A day will soon come when they shall make you their next prey.”
“Killing each other is not a big deal. We are dependent on each other. We too kill fishes. Death is eternal, it’s universal, it’s nature and we cannot go beyond the nature’s law.”
“We all are known to nature’s law. But humans are not following the nature but they are taming the nature. They are exploiting and over ruling the nature.”
“Are you trying to betray us?”
“I am not trying to betray you, just I am trying to put forth my stand.”
I was exhausted answering them. But their questions were never ending.
The fires of sun was on the head. They were firm on their belief that man poses no great threat to their lives. They said that:
“It is true that man is dependent upon us for food and fur, but so are we dependent upon fishes and smaller animals. Death is an inevitable truth; it is what makes the life circle perennial. Another thing is that we cannot leave our lands. This is our world and we are happy with what we have, we desire nothing more. Between you all and humans, we seem to be more acquainted with men. Therefore it is not possible for us to join hands with unknown friends to fight against a known enemy.”
“I tried to make them understand, that they may be ignorant of man’s self-centeredness and brutality right now. But tomorrow when they realize this, it might be too late and they will have to regret, but they remained indifferent. In the end, I had to return empty handed. I regretfully inform you that I am failed in my quest. The Antarctic animals have refused to join us.” With that the kite Jawa became quiet and lowered his head sadly.
All eyes were on him. Some were disappointed, whereas the others seemed content as now the chances of war seemed to be lowered. Where, on one hand the animals seemed to be getting enthusiastic and zealous about the idea of war. The sudden bad news seemed to put off their moods a little. The failure at Antarctica raised questions on the credibility of the entire convention. Folly the fox stood and smartly broke the gloomy silence that followed,
“Don’t be disheartened. Success or defeat is the fate of god. You have tried your best, it’s just enough.”
“Considering the circumstances and the uncooperative behavior of the polar animals you had to deal with, we must not blame you for this set back. We do not doubt your abilities at all, and the Emperor knows this very well. You must not be disheartened by this failure. Even though we did not get the support of the ice-Landers, we still have many other alternatives.
Though we wanted full participation from all animals, the indifference of a few shall not affect the course and condition of this war. As we noted earlier, those animals cannot come to hotter regions so their participation in this war would have been tough as it is. We had no great expectations from them. As it is the Polar Regions are scarcely populated and according to our war strategy, we plan to attack man there where his resources and population are dense. Therefore, we have no reason to be upset.
We have taken all votes now. Those of you who are in favor of war please stand on one side, those against it on the other and those who are undecided may form a group in between.”
After some commotion and much stomping, the animals divided themselves into three groups as instructed. On the left were the pro-war animals like tigers, cheetahs, jaguars, jackals, hyenas, cats, donkeys, ponies, snakes, pigs, etc. In the middle area stood the undecided ones like the elephants, bears, horses, monkeys etc. In the anti-war group, which took its place on the right hand-side, were animals like cows, dogs, rabbits, deer, etc.
The largest group was clearly the pro-war group, the second largest group being the anti-war one and the smallest was the group of animals who were still unsure. The division of groups made it apparent that the majority wanted war. This was the cleverness of fox folly. The purpose of this separation was to create a psychological pressure of majority on the anti-war and unsure groups.
Once again, Emperor Madiba came to the dais; he looked down upon the three divisions and spoke in his grave tone,
“I am glad that a large group of my subjects has placed his trust in me and gives it’s consent for war. I believe that those of you who are in doubt and denial will also aid us when we need them. I have heard and thus realized that the reasons, which withhold some of you from battle, are not indomitable. The problem most of us face is common; they question their usefulness in war. They believe that they can be of no assistance in war, so they feel that demanding their help in war is unjustified. But I would like to bring to their notice that it is not only the soldier who fights in a battle. In every war, the number of combating soldiers is not as large as those who assist them in other ways and they are as important as the warriors themselves. Therefore, you must completely remove this notion from your mind that anyone of you is useless in this war. We very well know where, when and how we can use your potentials. Each one of us has our abilities and the participation of each animal is crucial for the success of our humongous undertaking. Most of you do not understand how important roles you can play in this war. But I take the responsibility of making you realise your distinctiveness and individuality. It’s my duty to make you realise your importance. I implore you to do away with your pre-conceived notions, show your faith in me and come to war with us!
The second most common problem is of acculturation of tamed animals with humans. To stand against them or even imagine being separated from men is difficult for them. Their fears are reasonable and more so when we talk of war. But to them I have one thing to say, ask yourselves just this question; what did you receive in return for all your services to man? Did you get the respect you deserve, even after living with him for so long? You have served men for ages; does he give you the status of friend yet? He has thought of you as nothing more than his menial servant and that is where you still stand! He has taken too much from you in return for too little. Man has become evil. As they say, “Evil to him, who evil thinks”, bad people deserve no better. So, there is nothing wrong in fighting against their cruelty. Those of who doubt the justification of our cause must remove this doubt from their thoughts. Just think, why should you remain loyal to them who care not about you? For whom you are just a slave. Show your loyalty towards your own kin. Devotion towards the selfish is neither reasonable nor profitable.
One group of animals doubts what will they gain if we win the war? To those I promise equal comforts and facilities, and equal rights as all the other animals. In our rule there shall be complete equality. After man’s subjugation, the carnivores can feed on the flesh of men; we will no longer need to kill each other, as we were compelled to do earlier. We have completely been dependent on other docile animals for nourishment. But that can all change if we win. So far as judicial power is concerned, it need not be confined to the carnivores. Those who are competent will be given an equal chance. Power distribution will be on the basis of merit not strength.
The biggest challenge, I feel, we face from within ourselves: the fear that lies within us, fear of man, fear of his vehement strength. Most of us are scared of humans, we find ourselves defenseless in his presence, and think that we will not be able to endure for more than a minute. But let me tell you all today, that defeating man is not as tough as you all imagine. We can defeat humans. What is more difficult is making our victory eternal and freedom permanent, to make our rule over man stable. This which seemed impossible earlier can be now achieved.
We are now capable enough to ensure the continuity of our rule over man. In this context, I would like to reveal one of my strategies here today. Ever since I began my reign I have been troubled by this one question. Ultimately we have been successful in finding a solution for it. We all know that man’s worst weapons are his nuclear and atomic bombs. Humans are not only our enemy; also there is much animosity amongst them. His hostile behavior has led him to the discovery and invention of lethal weapons, he has been developing destructive arms and ammunitions one after the other. In the course of history man has made thousands of atomic weapons. The ruinous capacity of these bombs is such that one bomb can destroy an entire city and settlements around it. If all such bombs were to be triggered at the same time, the entire world’s survival would be at stake.
These bombs are operated through computers. It can be said that man does so much of work these days that one mind seems insufficient for him, for that he uses the computer. It is an artificial intelligence made up of metals which works as his second brain from outside his body. With these computers he controls his bombs. For which they have fixed codes, which are defined in words in his language. We have gained access to these codes and now we have complete information about the operation and control of these bombs. On the basis of this we aspire to make our rule over men steadfast. We have struggled long to acquire this information. Many years of toil and efforts have gone into the procurement of these codes. I am grateful towards all those animals who have worked towards the accomplishment of this herculean task. Among them, Tiku the monkey has played the most important role.
History reveals that a person alone is never mighty; time is the mightiest of all. And this is our time. We need to recognize it and not let it pass by. Winning and losing is part and parcel of the game, but fear should not withhold you from fighting for your rights. But then too I assure you that, if the Gods favor us, we shall definitely win this war. Man will have to kneel down in front of us; the only thing we need to do is stay together and be united. There is tremendous strength in unity. As they say “united we stand; divided we fall”. Unity can overcome great barriers; man is just one of them. When we discuss our war strategies and plans, I am sure you all will believe what I say. This is the first time in the history of the animal kingdom that we are in such dire need of unification. If we fail once, we will be oppressed and enslaved for eternity. Our togetherness and concurrence is of apex importance in the battle. Even if one of us stays aloof, he could be a great threat to us. I entreat all my fellow animals to be loyal to us. Why should you be faithful to men who have no affection towards you? All animals must think about the greater good of the animal kingdom beyond their own interests. On one side is our reign over the entire world and on the other is suppression under men. What do you choose? And if god forbid, we lose what is the worst that can happen? We may die? Man is anyway ensuring that none but he himself survives on this planet! But if we emerge victorious, we can be free from this wretched life of fear and enjoy the pleasures of ruling over men. The decision is yours.”
The Emperor’s thought provoking speech had a great impact on all animals. Many animals standing in the anti-war and in-doubt groups went and joined the pro-war group on the left. Very few animals like cows, elephants, deer, and a few birds remained. The elephant Humpy spoke on their behalf,
“My lord we are with you too, but there a few more doubts in our hearts for which we need clarifications. Even if we win the war, the possibility of many lives being lost cannot be out-ruled. Is it worth all the bloodshed? Should we not try to talk to humans and come to some kind of an agreement? Or perhaps, a peace treaty. If we cannot come to any agreement then we may go to war.”
To this the Emperor replied,
“Communication and agreements are nothing new for us. There are a few gentle men in the world and they have passed many laws for the conservation of animals, but it is the selfish common man, who is expected to follow those laws. A peace treaty is not beneficial for us. Man himself has adopted so many religions to purify himself but he has not grown. The religions have themselves deteriorated, because after that one man who heralds, it the same selfish ordinary men who must follow and govern it. I believe a dialogue with them is inconsequential. It will only put them on their guards. Our only hope is in taking them by surprise. So far as lives being lost are concerned, there can be no revolution without bloodshed. From this perspective the outcome of war is always sad, but perhaps the purpose for what we fight for is more important than the bloodshed.
it is the responsibility of present to think for the future. Present cannot sustain itself any longer just thinking for the present. It is our responsibility to look out for our future, in the present. Planning just for the present is not sustainable. We must think about and plan for the future. Man is the finest example of that, he planned for the future and so he holds power. He is ruling and it is he who is advancing in life. We who thought only about the present are slaves, we are dependent on his will, our existence is in danger and so we must fight for it. If only we hadn’t been blind towards the future, we could have been walking hand in hand with men. We might have to sacrifice our lives, but we must not care. So far as the future of our children and coming generations is secure and they can live free and happy lives unlike our wretched lives full of strife and struggle for existence.
Today I declare war on man. All animals must join us in this epic battle; you’re either with us or against us. Those who remain aloof will be considered as allies to men and therefore our enemy.”
Thus the Emperor concluded his speech and settled on his rock. All animals turned towards elephant Humpy and waited for his reaction. In the end, the elephant and his covey also declared their allegiance to Emperor Madiba and his animals. All animals rejoiced and started celebrating, making great noise.
That day’s meeting concluded at a positive note, and the crowd dispersed. It was almost past twilight when the council ended. All animals had skipped lunch that day, after the dispersal they all had dinner. In today’s meeting they had heard many praises of Tiku, the monkey. After dinner, many animals came up to Tiku and congratulated him for his achievements. Just like humans, Tiku lived in hut, which he had himself built in the jungle. A torch burnt outside his home. It was almost dark now; Tiku’s hut was surrounded by a mob of animals that had come to wish him. They urged Tiku to divulge the story of his life to them. On the animals’ persistence, Tiku began his tale,
“I used to live with a street performer in Kashi, a small town of India. Kashi is known as the town of Temples, there is a temple in almost every nook and corner of Kashi. The view of the crescent dale of Ganges from the topmost flag hoisted on the highest Golden dome of Kashi Vishwanath would always enchant and mesmerize me. I spent my entire childhood there. My owner would make me dance on the streets and that is how he earned his daily bread. The on-lookers would pay a meager amount for the street show, and those earnings would help him feed his family and me. That was my life, my daily routine… I did nothing more, until that one fateful day when he took me out to perform at quay of Dashashwamed, that is where I met Lady Nancy. This wasn’t the first time we had gone there, that part of town was frequented by foreign tourists which ensured higher tips. My owner was playing a pellet drum, to attract the crowd towards my performance…”
“Folks! Friends! Well wishers! People of all ages… Come one come all! And let yourself be amazed, see this monkey dance. . ! What a great dancer he is. . !”
After sometime we were surrounded by a crowd. This consisted of a few inquisitive foreigners, as well. When the crowd became considerably large, he began the show,
“Tell us then monkey, what shall you do for us? Groove like Jitender?” I shook my head in disapproval.
“Or a few steps of Michael Jackson perhaps? I nodded my head at this.
“Did you see that folks? Even this monkey has gone international!”
“What can I say? Will have to deal with your tantrums! So go ahead and show them what you got! Rock the floor!”
I started jumping around and doing acrobats at the beat of the pellet drum. I had been trained to do all this; I would shake my head or nod according to the jugglers instructions. I entertained the audience with my tricks and stunts for a while. The show ended and my owner asked to me to collect money from the on-lookers in an old aluminum bowl.
“Lovely people, now the show must come to an end. Come on people, now fork out some money. You know you enjoyed the show, now be generous! That is how we feed this cute little monkey…”
“Go Tiku and collect whatever you can manage to.”
I would take the bowl to each person standing in the crowd. I took whatever they gave me and moved ahead. Those who would not give anything, I would tug their clothes a little and wait. Some would give me a few quarters and a few arrant ones would watch the show for free and move away.
That day an American woman was present in the crowd, her name was Nancy. She was a young lady of thirty. When I reached her with my bowl she tried to grab me. I got scared and running away from her went and hid behind the juggler’s feet. She came up to him and said,
“I want to purchase this monkey. What is it’s cost?”
But at that moment he was busy picking coins from the ground. He was unable to understand her,
She repeated this time slowly stressing each word, “PRICE. . ? MONEY. . ? WANT TO BUY MONKEY. . !”
The juggler looked at others for some help. A multi-linguist came to their aid,
“She wants to buy your monkey.” He translated from English to Hindi.
“No the monkey is not for sale.” He refused.
“But I really want it.” Lady Nancy was adamant.
“Madam, he is my only source of income. If I let go of him, how will I feed my family? I’m sorry madam, this monkey is not for sale.” He replied.
“But I am to buy, One thousand?” bid Lady Nancy.
“Madam, you can find yourself another pet! I have spent a lot of time and effort in training him.”
“No! I want this monkey only. One thousand five hundred?” Lady Nancy raised the bid.
The juggler was completely baffled. He had no clue as to what should he decide. He was definitely getting a good price for an ordinary monkey. He thought, he could capture another monkey and train it for free. But he was sure he would not find another buyer like this. He was speculating over this when Lady Nancy said,
“Two thousand. That is my last offer.”
“Alright! Take it, since you so badly want it. I will have to catch another monkey!” the juggler pretended to be helpless.
Lady Nancy removed two thousand dollars from her purse and presented it to him.
“Oh.. No! These notes are fake. I want Rupees, not these.” Said the silly man
“Oh…ho…! Okay…okay!” Lady Nancy was relieved. The naivety of the juggler made her burst into laughter. She took out two thousand rupees from her wallet and handed them over to the juggler.
“Count them” she told him.
“No need. I can trust you that much” said the juggler while pocketing the money.
He handed the rope attached to the strap around my neck to Lady Nancy. At that time I did not know her at all. However bad the juggler may be, I had developed a bond with him. I was reluctant in leaving him and going away with an unknown person. I held on to his feet even more tightly. While talking to Lady Nancy in his broken English, he tried to push me away,
“From where…? Madam you…?”
“I am from America” replied Lady Nancy.
“Go away you idiot! Go and travel the world.” He said, grabbing me from behind and handed me over to Lady Nancy.
“Okay Madam.., Bye..” Said the juggler. He winded up his stuff and walked away happily, so much engraved in his happiness that without even a final look or a goodbye. Lady Nancy holding my string in her arm took me away from him. I kept looking back, staring at my former lord for some sort of an affectionate parting. But he didn’t bother. That was the last time I saw him. I had just been sold like some commodity, I was very angry! But little did I know then that fate had greater plans for me and everything was predestined. What the future withholds in his lap no one can know. I left my owner and went away with her. She would feed and treat me well. She loved me very much. The juggler gave me insufficient food and also abused me physically. Therefore, I was not at all sad. Together we travelled to many places. From India we went to Rome, Paris, Berlin, London and then finally to America. I, later on, realized that Lady Nancy had been on a world tour at that time.
Lady Nancy lived all alone in an apartment on a sky scraper of San Francisco. She spent her entire free time with me, as she had no other person in her life. Hailing from the humble town of Banaras where I was a street performer I found my new life very different. I learnt many new things with her. Taking small things from here to there and running small errands for her quickly became routine for me. Bringing her the newspaper, turning on the A.C., opening the fridge and getting her breakfast table etc, were the first few things that I started doing for her. We would sit and watch TV together. I even learnt how to drive the car. For which Lady Nancy had to pay a fine, more than once, but she never got too annoyed. I was an inquisitive learner and she was a patient and loving teacher. Soon I became proficient at all normal human activities. She then taught me how to use the computer. In a few years I gained expertise in this field as well, playing CDs, Video games, removing printouts etc. were child’s play to me.
She treated me like her own child. She had no friends, family or companions besides me. I was everything for her. She was in a purely physical relationship with one man but that was also short lived. It was a hollow relationship, and that is where I came to realize the ephemeral nature of all human relations.
It was late night, one by one all houses in San Francisco were lighting up. Lady Nancy seemed elated today. She arranged the entire room perfectly. She had done her hair beautifully, wearing a cream satin gown she was swaying from here to there in the apartment. She had cleaned and arranged everything herself that day. There were fragrant fresh flowers in the vase, the music player played light and sensuous music in the background, the room was dimly lit and sitting on the desk I observed she looked completely different from how I had ever seen her. Today she wasn’t the powerful working woman Lady Nancy. Today she was just Nancy, the beautiful and vibrant Nancy.
The door bell rang. I ran towards the door but she signaled me to stay put. She answered the door herself. It was a handsome young man, wearing a crisp white shirt and black trousers.
“Please come in Sam!” welcomed Lady Nancy with her arms wide open.
Sam entered the house. They kissed and entered the room hand in hand. Lady Nancy seemed so lost as if she just wanted to stay in his arms forever. This was the first time that I saw Sam.
“Wow, you have decorated the house very nicely” exclaimed Sam, after having a look at the entire apartment.
“You like it?” asked Lady Nancy sheepishly.
“Very much” said Sam seating himself on the bed.
“Would you like something to drink?” asked Lady Nancy coming closer to him.
“Some beer will do, thank you!” he replied.
“Tiku, can you please get us two beers?” Lady Nancy called out for me and went to the kitchen herself, to get some snacks.
“So this is the monkey you can’t stop talking about, eh?” enquired Sam with a hint of jealousy in his tone.
“Come on Sam. Don’t tell me that you are jealous of my little Tiku!” Lady Nancy commented from the kitchen.
I took two bottles of beer from the fridge and set them on the glass table adjacent to the bed. Sam extended his hand toward me saying “Hi, Tiku”
I shook his hand and at that moment Lady Nancy entered with two large beer mugs and some snacks. She set the dishes on the table and signaled me to leave them alone. I went back and sat on the desk.
Sam opened the beer and poured it into the mugs. They cheered and started sipping it. Lady Nancy was sitting very close to Sam. Sam’s hand playfully touched her hair and then he grabbed her waist. He caressed and stroked her body and she seemed to be enjoying it. They finished their beers and Lady Nancy said, “I’ll make something for dinner.”
“No, don’t cook anything, I have to go home, will have to eat there” said Sam.
“You’re always in a hurry to leave when you come”, sighed Lady Nancy.
“You know everything very well. There is no point in repeating the same things over and over again.” Sam loosened his tie and fell back on the bed.
Lady Nancy picked up the beer and looked at ground a little disappointedly. She then gulped the entire beer in one go. She unhooked her hair clip and let hair fall on her neck. The beautiful black strands danced like gorgeous pole dancers around her neck. She removed her gown and came closer to Sam. Sam grabbed her and made her lie on the bed. They started caressing and touching each other, they were lost in each other. That day for the first time in my life, I felt incomplete without a companion. I realized what price I was paying to live with humans. They were engrossed in their love making and then Lady Nancy remembered that I was still on the desk, I was watching them. Laying on the bed she reached out for an apple on the glass table and throwing it at me she said,
“Tiku, Go and watch TV. Tiku go.”
I caught the apple from the desk but did not move from there. I do not know why? But suddenly I felt very lonely. It felt like someone very close to me had just been snatched away by a stranger. I felt that Lady Nancy did not love me most in the world, she loved someone else more. There is someone else more important in her life. I was absorbed in thought when she glared at me and repeated more sternly,
I jumped off the desk, went and sat on the sofa. I took the remote and turned on the TV. This was a new thing for me, which I had never seen nor imagined. They seemed to be exhausted and yet strangely satisfied and pleased at the same time. I couldn’t help myself from turning my head around to take a peek at them having intercourse.
After sometime drained and tired they both lied down on the bed naked. Sam got up and quickly began to get dressed. While leaving he tried to break the awkward silence, but he hit the wrong chords. For some reason he started talking about me,
“Is that Monkey a loyal one?”
“Yes, at least more than men!” said Lady Nancy in vexed tones.
“What you do want me to do? Do you want me to leave my family for you?” said Sam. His temper getting high, he jumped of the bed angrily.
“No, but you can spend some more time with me!” begged Lady Nancy turning around.
“I’m sorry. I cannot do anything more” Sam flatly refused and left, slamming the door behind him in frustration. I jumped from the sofa and locked the door. When I returned her eyes were filled with tears. She was lying as it is, covered in a linen sheet. She gestured me to come closer. I went and sat on her stomach. She lovingly hugged me and managed to say just this,
“I have no one else in this world apart from you. I wish, if you were human.”
Those words were enough for me. It felt like my world had been returned to me. But little did I know then, that my world would soon become destitute and forlorn. Nothing in this world is perpetual. What we have today, might be lost tomorrow. We should always remember that, change is the only constant in life.
Lady Nancy worked for an aeronautics company. She often took me to office with her. That, eventually, helped me gain knowledge of their modus-operandi. She worked in the most secure ‘X-zone’ and that led to giving me an insight over the security systems of the entire organization slowly. Some of her colleagues were even jealous of me, Sam was one of them. They did not approve of my visits to her office. The higher authorities had earlier objected to my entry in the building, they thought of me as a threat. But Lady Nancy managed to convince them to permit me into the premises.
That day, we were happy, oblivious of the doom that awaited us. I had finally perfected my driving. I often drove her car, and she paid many penalties for me. And that day again, I broke the signal for which the police had stopped and fined us 70$. We parked the car in the company’s parking lot and walked up to the entrance gate of the building. The security system welcomed us in it’s usual sweet tone,
“Welcome Miss Nancy! Welcome Tiku!”
We smiled at each other and entered the building. The office was huge. From the assembly of fighter jets to launching of missiles every technical thing was done there. Walking through the office we reached Lady Nancy’s cabin. Beside her chair stood another small chair for me, in front of which a computer was installed. I used to do menial work for her on the computer and at other times played video games on it. How much I loved playing video games. When we entered she put her bag on the table and we both took our respective seats. She had a sip of water and then started looking for a paper in her drawer. She found it and handing it to me said,
“Tiku, take this note. Type it and quickly make me a hard copy. After that we have to go to the missile launch section. Okay?”
I nodded, took the note from her and began typing. At that time, Lady Nancy’s colleague Samantha opened her door a little and said,
“Nancy! Sir would like to see you after your work at the missile section, is over.”
“Okay! Thank you.” replied Lady Nancy smiling.
Samantha saw me typing and could not withhold herself from commenting,
“Man! He is so smart! How does he do such complicated things?”
“You do know that I stay alone, I spend all my free time in training him. He loves to learn new things and that passes my time as well.” Talking to Samantha she picked up a file and walking out of the office with her said to me,
“Mr.Tiku, as you very well know, you are working in the most sensitive ‘X-zone’ of the company. I expect you to be careful and finish your work without causing any troubles. Okay!”
She always feared that I would do some mischief in the office. Some of her co-workers wanted me to be banned from the premises but still she would take me along. That is why she was always worried. Nancy and Samantha left, I continued typing.
I took a printout of the typed note and reached the launch chamber, where everyone was already present. Many scientists were working on large computer screens, supervising the propelling of a missile. They were testing a missile of the Nevada Launch Station. I went and sat beside Lady Nancy. The entire room was echoing with the countdown. At the end of the countdown, the missile was successfully launched. There were applause and cheers all around.
We moved out of there after that. I gave her both the hard and the soft copy of the note.
“Thank you! Now you go to the cabin. I’ll come after meeting boss”, said Lady Nancy taking the pen drive and print out from me. We both went our ways.
On my way back I saw Sam and his friends. On seeing him, I immediately turned around. I didn’t want to face him. He used to bully me and tease me. I went to Lady Nancy’s bosses’ cabin and waited outside for her. The door was partially open; I could hear them from there. What I unintentionally overheard seemed like bad news. They were sitting opposite each other. Her boss was fidgeting with his pen, when he spoke. And they were talking about me!
“Miss Nancy, from tomorrow onwards you cannot bring your monkey to work with you!”
“But Sir, you know that I live alone, I have nowhere to leave him.”
“That is your personal problem. This company has nothing to do with it.”
“Sir, he has been coming here with me for many years and has never caused a problem all this while. Why has it become a problem suddenly?”
“Don’t look so surprised Nancy. You have been warned many a times earlier. We have been liberal in allowing him in all these years. But now, all of us unanimously agree that he has become a threat to our company!”
“What kind of threat?”
“For one, he could be leaking confidential information. He has learned too much about our organization. His smartness now poses a threat to the company’s security.”
“This is preposterous! How can he be a threat to our security?”
“Miss Nancy I do not want any arguments. Some of the other people working in this office have also complained. They have problems with Tiku. I’m afraid I cannot help it this time, I am sorry.”
“If there are issues with him…” Lady Nancy was trying to defend me, I was too engrossed in their conversation to notice that someone had sneaked up on me and putting a cloth on my face grabbed me from behind. It was Sam and his friends. I struggled to get free but their grip was too tight. They took me to a secluded room, I could hear them talking about me and laughing. Then one of them tied one end of a burning paper rope to my tail. I felt a terrible burning sensation. I started jumping frantically to avoid the flames. To save myself from them I ran out of that room uncovering my eyes and reached the assembly hall. Some aircrafts were being assembled there. The fire had reached my tail now! Out of pain I was blindly dashing from one corner of the room to the other, I wasn’t able to think about anything apart from putting out the fire.
Boom.., boom.., crash.., clash… things were falling around me. But I couldn’t help it. Parts and tools were falling off the aircraft which was being assembled. I couldn’t find water anywhere! I tried to put off the fire by rubbing myself against the wall. But the fire kept burning until that paper rope was burnt out completely. I was writhing in pain, but no one cared. They were only concerned about the things that were falling, all the material loss. They could hear the loud crashes of breaking equipments, but my screams were inaudible for them. All people present in the assembly hall began to run after me, trying to catch hold of me. I was so baffled with pain and fear that I didn’t let any of them touch me. Trying to escape them caused more chaos, I dropped many more things. From one parapet to the other, from one desk to the other I went around the entire assembly hall but found no relief. All the staff was trying to capture me but were crashing into each other instead, I was too quick for them. In all the havoc the fire on my tail finally died out, but it was too late now. The entire workstation was transformed into a huge metal junkyard. I jumped up onto an elevated hook on a high wall to save myself.
When the higher authorities learnt about this mess they came running to the hall. Hearing all this commotion even Lady Nancy and her fat boss came out. Almost the entire office was out in the hall. Seeing the spectacle Lady Nancy was taken aback by shock and fear. Fallen spare parts, destroyed gadgets, broken pieces of machinery were lying all over the place. Everyone was asking me to come down. But I didn’t want anybody to touch me. Lady Nancy was furious, she shouted at me,
“Tiku, come here at once!”
I climbed down and reached Lady Nancy, knocking off a few more things on my way. She shut her eyes; I went and sat on her shoulder. She pulled me off and hit me once or twice! Even though she had realized that I was hurt. Her boss was fuming. He jumped on to her,
“Miss Nancy! Who is responsible for this wreckage?”
“I am sorry, Sir! Please forgive me, I am extremely ashamed and humiliated.”
“No sorry..! This will not be forgiven. We had warned you earlier!”
“But Sir, can’t you see? Someone has burnt this poor creature’s tail!” said Lady Nancy showing him my scorched tail.
“How can you try to defend him after all that he has done? Along with this monkey you are hereby suspended from service indefinitely with immediate effect!”
Saying this he marched out of the hall in his rage. Lady Nancy tried to apologize on my behalf but he wasn’t ready to hear anything. He fired her.
So much had happened that day, but she didn’t say a word to me. She put Medicine on my wound when we reached home. She knew, what had happened was not my fault, I didn’t do it on purpose, and I was only trying to save myself.
But there was more to come. When Sam arrived at the apartment that evening, they got into a row because of me.
“I know all this is your doing!” cried Nancy.
“This monkey has caused so much destruction, and instead of reprimanding him, you are blaming me?” asked Sam fuming.
“I won’t scold him even if he destroys the entire world!” replied Lady Nancy equally enraged.
“You’re fighting with me for this stupid monkey?”
“I could even leave you for this stupid monkey!”
“Bloody uncivilized beast!”
“Don’t you dare Sam. He is not a beast. He is my son!” Lady Nancy threw a plate to the ground in her rage.
“True! A woman like you can have children like these only!” Sam’s teasing words were making her angrier.
Smashing another glass Lady Nancy shouted “How dare you insult me like this? Get out of my house, right now!”
“I am leaving and I will never come back to this insanity!”
“Don’t! Don’t you even ever think to come back.”
Sam slammed the door behind him and left. Lady Nancy picked up a paper weight lying on the table and threw it onto the mirror smashing it into pieces. I was scared and confused. I didn’t know what to do. She cried the entire night and didn’t even allow me to come close. I huddled in one corner of the room. I don’t remember when I fell asleep.
What I saw in the morning is the most painful memory of my entire life. I will never forgive myself for what had happened. When I opened my eyes, Lady Nancy was lying limp on the bed; there was broken glass all around. A bottle of beer was lying on the floor beside her and there was another small flask which read “POISON!” I lost all my senses. Those signs abode terrible news. I went closer to find that everything was over! My heart was thumping uncontrollably inside my chest, Lady Nancy had committed suicide!
I went to the neighbors’ and they called the police. In a few minutes the apartment was filled with the sound of police siren and cars coming in from the driveway. A team of policemen along with some photographers entered the house. They were inspecting the entire house and preparing to take away the body for postmortem. Photographers were clicking pictures of all prospective evidence. The house was surrounded by curious neighbors and on-lookers. I couldn’t stop my tears from falling; I had never experienced such unbearable pain in my whole life. My heart was bursting with grief. I was drowned in my sorrow but could hear what they were saying,
“It seems that someone else was also here last night.”
“They definitely had an argument or fight.”
“But this suicide note does not mention anyone!”
“May be someone forced her into writing it before killing her.”
“I doubt that, this note only mentions one monkey. And that she has named this monkey her legal heir.”
“Is this the same monkey?”
“I guess so!”
“What a weirdo! She had no one else that she left her entire property and all assets in the name of this monkey. Anyway! Send the body for postmortem now. We can’t be sure of anything unless we get all reports.”
Lady Nancy had transferred her entire property and assets to my name. But I didn’t need any of it. I just took some money from the drawer and gave it to the police and neighbors for giving her a proper funeral. I was shattered by her death.
I learnt so much about human life and values while living with her. I gained knowledge about modern technology, missiles, atomic and nuclear bombs etc. I was all alone after her death. I had no clue of what I was doing. I hated myself, that flat, the people, that city and everything that reminded me of her. I left everything behind and ran away from San Francisco. A freight ship was leaving the harbor. I didn’t know where I was headed. Blow, blow… the horn was calling. The ship was about to depart. I jumped on aboard without thinking twice and hid between the cargos. The ferry took off.
Days and weeks passed. I had lost interest in life and the world. I can’t recall for how many days, I hadn’t seen the sun! I just crouched and lay in narrow passages between the large containers. After weeks of travel, the ship reached Africa. When the cargo was being unloaded I also left the ship and came ashore.
The ship arrived at Africa. I sneaked out of port, reached the jungle and crashed on the ground, after eating any edible fruit or flower I could lay my hands on. Within a few seconds I was fast asleep. But then someone tried to wake me up, I just couldn’t open my eyes, they splashed some water on my face. I woke up but still wasn’t able to move. I was too exhausted and they were starting to piss me off. I slowly opened my eyes and through my half eyelid opened I find myself surrounded by a crowd of animals like cheetah, elephants, hyena, jackal and approximate twenty others. They all started shouting and abusing me, they asked me to get out of their way and lie somewhere else. I was boiling with rage now.
“Which one of you idiots is behind this mischief?” I asked.
“Watch your words, little one, and first look at who you’re standing against!” said the cheetah that stood in front of me.
With half opened eyes I looked around; a large group of animals had encircled me and they all seemed angry at me. I snapped out of my drowsiness and sprang up to my feet.
“Don’t you people understand I am dead tired, it is rude to wake up someone like this” I said more politely considering I was out numbered.
“Cut out the non sense and get lost. Have you any idea, who you are talking to?” said one wolf angrily to me.
“I do not know, but you are surely about to find out soon!” I said in my defense.
“How is this petty low-born speaking so impertinently with you, sir?” a Hyena said provoking the Cheetah.
“How dare you? I will make you pay for this!” said the wolf aroused by the Hyena’s provocation. And instantly a group of animals along with him pounced on me.
I was already on my guard. I jumped high on the spot and grabbed a branch on the tree above. Before they could stop themselves, they went and crashed into the trunk of the tree. They were seeing stars in broad day light after crash. Their leader the cheetah was enraged and ordered more animals to catch me and bring me back to him.
“Catch this idiotic monkey. Make sure that he does not get away.” Saying so, the Cheetah himself started climbing the tree.
I jumped on to a nearby coconut tree and plucked coconuts and hit the animals who were gaining on me. “There you go! And here’s one for you, and for you too!” They were all furious now; they all wanted to catch me badly. I jumped from one tree to the other and plucked fruits and threw them at animals that were getting closer. Leopards were behind me on the tree and the elephants and bears were running behind us on the ground. I hit one elephant so hard on the head with a large coconut that he screeched out in pain. Someone threw a coconut at me, it hit my head and for a second I felt that I would pass out. I lost my grip and before I fell on ground one elephant grabbed me with its trunk and thrust me into the air like a ball with all its strength. I gained consciousness at that very moment and reached out and grabbed one of the branches, the elephant was shocked. I ran ahead and caught a wine hanging from a branch above me and pulling it tightly, left it to snap back at the cheetah following me. The wine hit him so hard that he fell off the tree and hit the ground with a loud bang. I also lost my balance and fell on to the back of the same elephant. The elephant was already annoyed with me, he started moving his head wildly to catch hold of me with his trunk but escaping myself with his hurling trunk, I quickly jumped onto his neck and squeezed his large ear with all my strength. He jumped off his feet growling in pain. The rest of the animals on trees jumped on to the elephants back trying to get hold of me, but then I jumped off it and climbed the opposite tree. I kept dodging them and hitting them with fruits or twigs or whatever I could lay my hands on. They were in bad shape now but could not be able to catch me yet.
At that time the Emperor and his delegation passed by. I was unaware of the fact that these animals worked for the Emperor and it was for his passing that they were trying to get me out off the way. Emperor was quite surprised to see his guards in this state. He called for me.
“Who is this? Who is responsible for the plight of my security force?” He asked the soldier beside him, in his usual calm and stately manner.
“It is but one monkey, my lord! Possibly he’s a foreigner. Otherwise he wouldn’t have been stupid enough to pick a fight with your highness’ Security Force” replied the soldier.
“Monkey? One Monkey has done this to my entire security force? Foreigner or not, he is one of us. Ask my guards to retrieve and tell the monkey to meet me at once. I would like to meet such a talented animal, who single-handedly has defeated dozens of strong soldiers.”
I saw them; I knew that it must be the King or some dignitary, considering the entourage that followed him. It was only after I met him that I learned that he was Emperor Madiba. I was ashamed of my behavior and apologised to him for it. He was more than ready to forgive me. He was actually very imposed by what I had achieved a few minutes ago. That is how we first met. I later on told him about my special achievements in the field on human technology, which amazed him even more and he was very happy.
It had been just few months since Madiba had been crowned Emperor. He was a nice-hearted, young, passionate and sensible king. Madiba was very concerned about the plight of animals all around the world even before he was crowned. Ever since he was declared king he travelled to many countries, only to find that everywhere animals suffered at the hands of men. The most painful thing is that even in the name of God and religion humans are sacrificing animals in temples and mosques. In his childhood once wondering in the jungle he had asked his father,
“Father, how far are the limits of our kingdom?”
“Our kingdom extends so far as the limits of the human world begins” his father gave him an astute answer.
“And how far are the limits of men?” asked the inquisitive child again.
“They have no limits.”
This one statement compelled little cub to think for, this sentence which was wrought with meaning haunted Madiba throughout his life. All the questions in his mind were planted in that tender age. And that shaped his philosophy and aim in life. As he grew up and became king he started considering it much more deeply and thought about it more seriously. He was constantly trying to improve the condition of animals. He would device new plans every day. He had been thinking about defeating humans and establishing rule over them for a very long time. But the only glitch in his scheme was how to make his victory permanent and stable. He knew that even after their victory over men they would rise again and be able to over throw animals very easily. He was unable to find a method to assure that never happened; that man was crushed so badly he wouldn’t ever be able to stagger back to his feet. Meeting me was a silver lining in a dark cloud for him. He could finally clothe his thoughts in the cloak of reality. The dream of being free from the shackles of slavery could finally be lived. May be now they could get the respect they had been deprived of, since time immemorial.
Emperor Madiba collected the most skilled bears, chimpanzees, monkeys, dogs, mosquitoes and crows of the jungle and built a unique team. I was supposed to train them. For the training to commence, we needed computers, generators etc. for which we first made a plan of stealing from a local computer store. The team reached town and leaving them outside I entered the town. One night before the robbery, I went into town to study the locality and the shop which we planned to break into. First we stole a truck. It was almost around midnight when we went to that computer store, which was located in a comparatively less crowded part of town. It was pretty quite outside, everything had been shut down. It was Africa; the shops would close down relatively early. There were a few street lights which were on. Emperor Madiba himself accompanied us on our first expedition; he was driving the truck as I was finding it difficult, because of the height of the driving seat which was too high for me. I was apt at driving cars because the seats were adjustable according to my comfort. Plus the clutch, break and accelerator of the truck were tighter than light vehicles. So we decided that it would be better to let Madiba drive. Ya! Sure, I was helping him to control steering. The two of us sat in front whereas the rest of the team was hiding in the truck behind. Madiba was wearing a coat, scarf and hat so that he could pass off as a man in the dark. When we reached the location of robbery, I got off and opened the shutter of the truck. The dogs, chimps, bears and gorillas came out quietly one by one. Karwi, the crow also flew in at that time.
“Where are the rest of your crows?” I asked Karwi.
“I have stationed them throughout the streets and around the blocks, they will call out to us” replied Karwi.
Karwi had it all under control; I addressed Tommyton the Dog.
“You and your team must spread out across the market; warn us if you see any humans coming.”
According to my instruction all the dogs took their places. The rest of the team came with me. We walked towards the store. There were two large old fashioned iron locks on the door, we obviously had no keys. But we had brought along a saw. We started cutting the locks open, it was a little noisy but we weren’t worried, we had stationed too many look outs throughout the area. The only thing that could go wrong would be that someone could be inside, but that possibility was rare since the door was locked from outside. Even if someone was there, they could easily be taken care of. The lock gave way after sometime; we started loading all that we needed on to the truck. Emperor Madiba was watching us. We were on the brink of executing our plan to perfection when suddenly Karwi flew in and informed us,
“Two guards are coming our way!”
“We will have to stop them. If they see anything, all our plans will go down the drains!” I was tensed and at a loss for any clever ideas.
Gorilla Solo who was standing beside me said,
“Don’t you worry Tiku, I’ll handle them!”
“You’ll handle them, but how? I don’t want any of us to be seen!”
“You just wait and watch” said Solo clapping my back.
“There are just two?” he asked Karwi.
“Yes just two” replied Karwi
“Then I am more than enough alone!”
“Will you be able to tackle this?” I asked Solo again.
“These humans may be strong, but beating 3-4 at a time is a piece of cake for me!” Solo took off reassuring me.
“Ask the Dogs to distract the guards and keep them from coming here. I’ll be with you in a minute.” Said Solo to Karwi
Solo tore apart 2 curtains from the computer shop and headed towards the guards. The rest of us were nervous, we stopped all activities and waited for them to return holding our breath with our hearts throbbing with tension.
Tommyton started barking at the guards. The guards were a little surprised to see this dog barking at them. They shooed him, he snatched their flash light and ran in the opposite direction. They ran behind him, they chased him down an alley when one of them saw a huge dark figure hiding around the corner. They stuck their backs to the wall and slowly moved towards the corner, oblivious that they were walking into a trap. Karwi told Solo that the guards were headed towards him, so he quietly went around the block and went behind the guards. The game of hide and seek had turned around, now the seeking guards were being followed. Solo snuck up on them and snaffled them from behind. He blind folded them and tied another cloth on their mouths. He grabbed them both in his arms and set them on the ground. They were struggling to free themselves but then Solo smacked them and they became senseless.
We all felt relieved now. We quickly rounded up all the electronics that we needed and loaded them onto the truck. I blew our calling whistle and all the animals retreated to the truck. I packed them and down the shutter. Madiba started the engine and we ran for our lives. We stole many laptops, C.P.U., batteries etc that night. Emperor Madiba was very glad and praised all of us for our success. For many days we spoke about that night’s adventure and every time we would end up rolling on the floor laughing.
We installed all the devices in a cave, arranged for diesel to run generators for charging of batteries. After a while we were able to install all computers and make them operational. And that was our first laboratory inside the jungle. The first team which I trained was headed by a group comprising of one chimpanzee, a bear, a gorilla, a monkey and one gibbon. When we saw progress in that group, we made more groups and began training in various batches. The trainees became trainers for other animals, therefore increasing our reach manifold. We dedicatedly trained day and night; after a few months each and every monkey, bear, chimpanzee and gorilla of this jungle was made computer literate. None of us was a master of computer languages, its principals nor the great technological world of computers; what we had learnt was the game of keys on which the entire system worked. Our main aim and the entire point of this operation were limited to learning the usage of atomic bombs and missiles.
Before taking this huge decision of waging war against humans we needed to test what we had learned. We failed in many attempts; in the end we were able to break into a missile centre of South Africa. About which we had acquired enough information through our spy friends: the mosquitoes and lizards. Our team was successful in launching a small missile; we were elated and decided to take our training campaign forward. No one ever found out about our involvement in that explosion, they believed some kind of human error had lead to the mishap. We opted for same model for our future expeditions.
When we achieved success in our endeavor and our other accomplices were fully educated in this field. We decided upon Russia as our next target. One of Russia’s Nuclear Power Plant and Space Centre “Bekanur” is located amidst dense Siberian forests. We had long been searching for such a Nuclear Plant which was far from Human Civilization, in between some dense forest so that it would be easy for us to set up our laboratory there. Because it wouldn’t be easily discovered and so raise no suspicion. We had discovered an underground cave not very far from this plant with the help of snakes, rats and mongooses. Rabbits, porcupines and other underground animals helped in cleaning and lighting the cave. The cave was readied in accordance with our requirements. We set up a small lab in the cave and named it “Yamuti”. This is where we set our plans into motion.
Crows and dogs were employed for caretaking, keeping watch and also to do spy work for us. They would warn us against any pre-eminent danger from wandering humans. The area was under the surveillance of Russian spy agency K.G.B but little did they know that their agency had also been infiltrated. Humans never suspected our spies as they were local Russian dogs. And those very few who were suspicious and tried to find out what we were up to were finished by us. Ants, termites, fleas and other insects would eat up the entire body leaving behind no trace of the lost victim.
It wasn’t practical for bigger animals to enter human laboratories without being noticed. So the small animals were assigned the task of observing and spying over the scientists. They were sent to hidden places in the Nuclear Labs where Missiles and Bombs were made, tested and examined. Mosquitoes, cockroaches, lizards and rats proved to be ideal for this job. They were aware and well acquainted with human ways of living. No one would ever doubt that they came into their labs to spy. They would enter those air conditioned high tech labs each day and leave with the scientists each night. We had four levels of secret agents in there, if one would miss out some information the other would fill up. They kept a strict watch on every activity. Every day they would bring us codes or some information about the lab’s nuclear activities. Our chief motive was not to get exhaustive knowledge about Nuclear Bombs; and their making, our main concern was it’s usage and operation. All the information brought by mosquitoes and other spies was noted down in our record books. Word after word contributed to volumes and volumes of confidential data. We kept persevering, we never gave up. And today after many years of hard work and constant diligence we have a large team of well trained animal technicians, who can decode and operate Nuclear Bombs of the world. To achieve this countless lives were lost, but the sacrifice of our little friends was not in vain. We have finally achieved what they worked so hard for!”
All animals were swept away by Tiku’s narration. It reinstated their faith in themselves and their king’s epic plan; they were now convinced that their preparations were of the highest level. With that new found faith they all dispersed and went to take rest.
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