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Pruthvi Banwasi

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Granny's Tales

Short Stories

Human Creatures!!!

They all watched helplessly…

…as the rude awakening to a tranquil dawn resulted from the incessant bleating of the birds. Birds that were savoring the silence of the lonely beach in their slumber. It look a few moments before reality seeped into their sleeping selves, yet in an instance adrenaline flowed freely and spread the terror of the impending atrocities that were bound to follow. A loss beyond imagination for them but just another day for the rest of the world. Another unfortunate link added to the unending chain of wrongs perpetuated on their lot.

There were just two men, just two men who walked towards the hundreds of birds as they exchanged hurried communications to decide on the immediate course of action. Nothing substantial could be thought of in the grip of panic. A frenzy of activity had us shaken up even worse. Sadly, though collectively stronger, they could not outnumber these two men.

The men were approaching them cautiously. They had to be cautious, for in the few minutes that they would spend on this island, they would have to spell out a tragic loss for the birds that the passing of years would fail to heal. It was then that one bird, woken up by deep slumber, instinctively searched around to assure herself about the safety of her eggs. They were right below her, nestled comfortably. This taken care of, she then came alive to the surroundings and began voicing her concern about the commotion that she now heard. Suddenly she sighted the two men around thirty wings away from her. Shocked by their sight she sheared the atmosphere around her with her hysterical high pitched string of screams. For, these men were gathering the huge eggs of these birds in buckets.

This sudden shrill move did unnerve the two, but only for a second, then it had the most undesirable and adverse effect on them, for they changed direction and headed towards hers.

Each one of the birds could only cry out in uncontrolled screams as they saw them assault this bird with the prods that they held in their hands. She withstood the poking for a couple of times, knowing that the pain caused by the pricks of the prod would be nothing compared to what she had seen the other birds endure for the rest of their lifetimes after such similar incidents.

She held on beyond her capacity to endure pain in protecting her young ones, every red blot of blood that emerged a few moments after the prod wounded her frail body and spirit placed another stone of defeat in her. She withered in pain without budging an inch while cracking her voice and screaming continuously. Her lungs were exploding from inside and her body was being pierced from outside.

In the end, her frail body reacted involuntarily and unwittingly she was forced to step back a few paces and distance herself from her young ones. That was all the time that they wanted, they hurriedly reached out for the big well sized eggs that she was treasuring since the past few weeks and moved on to other victims.

In less than half an hour the two men headed back to their boat, their job done. Discussing in leisurely tones, the possible profits that the day’s hard work would get them, among other banal aspects of their pathetic lives…

Today’s victims were still in a state of utter shock, and for the rest of the birds, the knowledge that the heavens were kind to them today offered a very small sigh of relief, for this nightmare, that showed no signs of ceasing, would recur every time the sun rose through out the breeding season for the rest of their lives.

Worst of all, there was nothing that they could do to fight back and stand up for their families and themselves. To weep and scream out while they watched was all that their cognitive elements could express. They were left wishing in vain for the miracle that never came, one that would somehow instill some trace of humanity in these inhuman creatures whose visits were worse then the demon of death for these birds, for they were made to suffer a living hell.

Our wings flapped hurriedly as they soared up in the skies to offer their final good-byes with helpless pleas, oblivious to any stance of pain. They flew as close to the boat as they dared to, and followed it as far as they could. Trying to prolong the last glimpses that they got of their young ones. Another last look as they were being led by their captives to their unenviable fate.

They all continued to watch helplessly...

(Instances of humans preying on the eggs of birds, dwelling in neighboring uninhabited islands, every day, are not uncommon.)  

 

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