The Dogs and the Rabbits

This story is a work of fiction and any resemblance to a place, person or event is purely coincidental and unintentional. (I dare not!)

Once upon a time, a few hundred thousand years ago, there was a land called, Sochistan (the thinking nation). This was before the ugly cycle of evolution transformed animals into humans.

All kinds of animals had been living in Sochistan for centuries. The wild boars, the talkative parrots, the ugly blob fishes (who were actually the original inhabitants of Sochistan) and the beautiful deer. They lived with their own dreams, their own ideas and in their own territories. They fought and killed each other but every time they killed, they thought.  Thoughts of remorse and compassion brought temporary peace to Sochistan and they continued to live together.

Sochistan had inhabitants, so it was but natural that it had a ruler, the king. The animals elected the king once every five years. It happened that the animals of Sochistan once elected a lame duck to power. She ruled by proxy for some years but soon the animals became wary of her rule and decided to change their master.  The pack of dogs, which lived across the holy river, saw this as their chance to become the rulers. They barked and howled every night and convinced the animals that they were keeping vigil from foreign invaders and evil insiders.  The animals were mesmerized by their persuasions and soon the dogs became the rulers.

One amongst them was crowned the king. He was big and handsome with a broad chest and a white fur, as pure as the winter snow. He barked with conviction and all animals had a firm faith in him. Soon after he took over, his friends, the hounds, became very assertive. They started troubling the smaller animals. The poor blob fishes, who lived in a dirty pond, were the worst affected. Every morning the hounds would collect at the pond, teasing the blob fishes, pulling them out of water, smacking and slapping them with their sharp paws and even killing them with impunity.

None of the animals came to help the blob fishes because they were ugly.

At one end of the jungle lived the rabbits. They were soft hearted and worked all day, learning and teaching. Animals of Sochistan respected them for their intellect and scholarly abilities.  Having done with the blob fishes, the hounds now decided to bother the rabbits. In witness of the monkeys and parrots from treetops overlooking the river, every morning the hounds chased the rabbits.

The lucky ones outran their perpetrators while the not so lucky was shredded to pieces by the ferocious hounds.

Tiny white furs stained red with blood now lay scattered on the riverbank.

Worried and frightened, the rabbits called a meeting. How could they outrun their murderers and save their lives? An old rabbit in the group stood up and spoke. He said, “You will be judged by history not with your ability to outrun the hounds, but by your courage to face and fight them. Sochistan has always given you the freedom to think, don’t let them take away this freedom from you. Think and fight. Nothing can defeat a mind which has decided to fight”.

Next morning the treetops overlooking the river were buzzing with activity. The monkeys howled and clapped, the parrots chirped with excitement and the sparrows sang happily as they witnessed the unthinkable! The red beerbahutis, the tinniest of all creations of Sochistan, flapped their wings in ecstasy!

On the banks of the holy river, a rabbit was chasing a dog!               

(The writer is a professor in the Department of Orthopaedics, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, AIMS, New Delhi)



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