Friday, December 20, 2013

Princesss and the Medicine man

Chapter 1(2)

Cautiously, he moved a few steps forward, fully aware of the slightest indication of danger.  After a minute of pause he hummed a sound which was taught to him as a means of communicating friendship. The tiger remained calm, but the expression of pain could be read from its facial expression. He took few more steps forward, an arm length; a distance near enough for him to touch the animal's head but could avoid any form of aggression, which could sprung out from the animal seemingly deprived of agility.

His arm reached out to touch the tiger's head.  As he did so, the tiger remained unperturbed. He gently stroked  the cheek with his fingers for a few minutes, and followed this friendly and caring advance by ruffling the the fur on the tiger's fore head. The big cat then responded by rubbing its cheek to Shaheedan's arm. The gestures touched the hearts of both the man and the beast. The apprehension of enmity had been transformed into a prospect of cordial friendship.  While his hands were busy doing the physical exploration, his eyes were busy observing the animal for clues, which could explain its strange behaviour, and his heart was filled with words glorifying the Almighty God. He thanked Him for opening the door of friendship between the man and the beast. When God wants it to happen, even the hearts of stone can be transformed into to a heart that is as soft as velvet.

As he continued  with his visual examination, he noticed that his newly found friend had lost considerable amount of weight.  His belly looked empty, perhaps due to inability to capture any animal as food. It could also be due to loss in appetite.  As he continued his caring fur stroke and ruffling, his visual survey  reached the hind legs.  To his astonishment he saw a blackish thing that resembled a leech. The size can be ten times that of leeches normally accoutred in the jungle. The head of this giant leach was buried in the tight of the hind leg that was dragged. The area around the buried head swelled and filled with pus.  Clearly, according to his experience with medicine and human diseases, what he saw was a purulent inflammation resulting from infection that had persisted for quite some time.

"Poor animal. He must failed to dislodge the leech from his leg no matter how much he tried." He thought to himself.  He move to rear of the new friend, and bent over to have a closer look at the maligned leg.

Yes! It is a leech. But he had never seen a leech as big as this one. He took out his double sided dagger that hanged from his belt, and slid it in between the leech and the tiger's skin. He snapped the leech with one side of the dagger. To his surprise the leech remained firm in its position and was not cut by the sharp blade of the dagger. Sensing that he was dealing with something extraordinary, he quickly wanted to get rid of it. He gathered himself and then made a second attempt to dislodge the leech, this time with a stronger force. The leech was flung into the air and onto the ground. It lay still on the ground seemingly dead. Suddenly, after a few minutes, the leech straightened itself and moved swiftly towards the tiger's injured leg and buried it's head back into the bleeding spot it had previously infested.

Shaheedan watched the the scene with amazement. How did the leech know exactly where to go after it had been dislodged? It cannot be a random action, but something that had been planned.  But surely a leech does not have a brain that can think. What and can it be? His line reasoning stopped abruptly. At about ten meters away from where he was standing, he saw some movement among the ground plants and dead leaves. He moved his eye to the right, there were similar movements. He looked to the left, and he saw the same thing. He turned around, and he saw the same movements. He was surrounded. All of them were closing on him. He watched carefully at the spot with the least covering on the ground.

"Oh God!  Leeches!"  This could be worse than the threat of being attacked by a tiger.