The Wolf of the Plains

Once upon a time, beyond the hills, much further in the plains, lived a wolf. He used to live alone and didn’t have any friends. While the pack would go out hunting for rabbits and the little stranded moles, the lone wolf would stroll in the shrubs. There weren’t many trees in the grassland, the few that were there, formed a canopy; a canopy stretching far enough to make a cool shade for the wolf. He would walk under the trees, scratch himself, sniff around, let out a wide yawn, and rest himself on the cool grass. He would sniff and snore, but soon after, he would fall asleep.

One day, the guard wolf came and met the pack leader. They talked for a long time. For those who saw said that the guard wolf seemed excited and they heard him say, “It was something we always wished for. The time has come that we haste and experience what is rightfully ours and follow the footsteps of our forefathers.”

Later in the evening when the cubs were playing their games, scratching each other, deceiving each other, for that’s what they had learnt from their pack; the pack leader wolf, with a big grey face and canines so sharp that it could tear out the flesh even of the wisest of animals, came around and asked everyone to gather around him. The cubs stopped playing and moved their ears, trying to listen and understand every word they could. A long silence preceded and finally the pack leader spoke.

“Rumour has it that humans have been seen around our plains.” Said the leader wolf.

Everyone in the pack looked at each other and soon whispers followed.

The leader wolf continued, “It seems that the rumour is true. The brave guard of our confirmed it himself. He had seen the humans walking in the shrubs.”

The guard wolf nodded in approval and when he realized that the entire pack had eyes on him, he said, “Yes. This is true.”

He started walking around and the pack. He looked at every one of them. Their eyes were cold and their jaws wide open. Long sharp teeth that shone in the bright moon. The guard wolf let out a loud howl and growled, “Let’s feast!”

The wolves let loud howls and it could be heard far and wide. They howled and growled. It was a day everyone had been eagerly waiting for. They would hunt, not rabbits and moles, but humans. They had heard stories of their forefathers hunting humans and feasting on them. For long they had waited and the hunger for the blood had grown stronger. The cold, much anticipated hunt was to happen in the night. Everyone had decided to participate in this, for it was a hunt of great honour. They would pace slowly towards them when they would be the most weakest, for they were less in numbers. Darkness would make them slow and nervous. The hunt was a sure success.

All this time, the lone wolf sat there, unheard and unobserved. He didn’t like the idea of this hunt. He felt it was a waste, a waste of time and energy. He did not want to be a part of it. He didn’t find it reasonable to attack someone whom he never knew and had never seen in his life. He was too peace loving for that.  He slowly rose from his place and walked away. He walked through the tall green grass. It was dusk and soon the moon would be shining brightly in the sky. It was then that the hunt would start and blood would flow. The very thought of it gave him shivers. He wanted a much peaceful like. A life like every day where he could sleep in the shade of the big old trees and reflect upon himself. He didn’t like change. He had decided that he wouldn’t let this happen. He would go and meet the humans. He would ask them to go away and never come back.  It was very frightful to face them but the violence that would follow would be even more frightful. With that thought, he walked into the shrubs, the birds were flying back to their nests hidden in the thick long shrubs. They came home with hopes, hopes for another morning; when they could go out to bury the unending hunger of their children.

The wolf walked towards the direction of the sound. A sound he knew only humans could make. As he came nearer to them, his pace suddenly increased and then he suddenly advanced towards them. But then he stopped and hid himself behind a bush. As he stood there, jaws wide open, the wind blew over the tall grass and they swayed in the air. In the cold darkness of the nights in this plain, brightness spread all over. A brightness that no creature on this plain had ever seen. The humans were burning the trees.

The moon shone brightly and the hunt began. And it happened.  Not many wolves were left to tell the story of this epic battle that once took place in this plain beyond the hills. The few that survived told said that the lone wolf fought bravely. He was an outmatched strength. He ripped two humans into pieces before they chopped his head off.

Visit The Travel Reader for more.

A Seed’s Story

The seed wouldn’t come out. She plainly refused, in the most courtier manner. She said that it was warm inside, warm and moist.

“Why do I ever need to come out?” asked the baby cypress seed one day. She was tired of the little earthworms in the neighbourhood who would twirl around her and make her feel edgy.

Mama soil knew that her baby seed would ask this question to her one day. The day had come. The clouds were hovering in the sky, condensing and cooling. The first few drops of rain fell on the earth and the smell of rain spread all over the plains, far and wide. Mama soil enclosed the baby seed to her and started telling a story.

“A long time ago when there were not many humans on the earth, the plants and seeds lived an amused life. There wasn’t much work to do. There were huge grandfather and father trees all over the plains and across the oceans. Baby seeds used to stay with their mother soil. They used to have a lot of fun and play around with The Beatles and the earthworms. They were happy, for they all were together and they had everything they needed. Father Sun shone brightly on them and Mother Rain enriched them with her misty presence.

One day when uncle breeze was blowing around, he had a strange feeling. For years he had been blowing and greeting his folks; he would blow through them, making them rattle and shed their old leaves so that they could go back to mother earth and be a part of her. Today something was peculiar. Uncle Breeze whirled around and then suddenly started storming high up in the sky. He had a clear view and it didn’t take him much time to realize that they had come. Uncle Wind blew softly on the long grass in the plains. He felt betrayed. The humans had cut down two trees. Nobody spoke anything. The birds didn’t sing, the flowers didn’t bloom. Everyone felt deceived and their hearts suffered immense pain. They all were crying as if their heart would break. It rained that night.”

Baby Cyprus looked at Mama Soil, now her eyes filled with tears. She had not lost someone in her life, but the very thought of it made her sad. She said no more. She asked for no more. Mama soil knew that the time had come. The sun shone brightly up in the sky as the clouds drifted away.

In the evening, the kids came running to the playground. Cheerful and noisy kids, playing different kind of games. One of them ran towards the corner of the ground and what she saw mad her jump with excitement.

She bent down and rested her knees on the cool grass. She whispered to the green sapling as it rubbed against her pink lips, “I knew you would come out. Hello, my best friend.”

Visit The Travel Reader for more.