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T & T Story Writing Contest 2019-20

Being Animal

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I woke up one morning and like any other day went straight to the bathroom. I was still sleepy and with my eyes half shut, I picked up my tooth brush squeezed some toothpaste on it and put it in my mouth. While brushing my teeth, I lifted my face up and looked myself into the mirror. I shouted at the top of my voice, I was scared to see myself. There was fur all over my face. I took off my night suit and was then scared more, I could not believe my eyes, it was soft skin -colored fur all over my body like animals have. Adding to my surprise and irritation, I noticed that wings have also grown on my back.I couldn’t understand what has happened to me  – Is this some kind of disease which developed over night or some punishment God has given me for my sins. I lifted up my arms and screamed loudly “Oh God! Please forgive me, change me back to a normal human.” But God seemed to be too busy to listen to my prayer or maybe He just ignored those who only pray Him for their selfish means.

I was ashamed to step out of my house, obviously. I ran to draw the curtains so that I would not become a laughing stock for everyone before I figure out what it was.  While drawing the curtains what I saw was a bolt from the blue. I noticed that all my neighbors have turned into this bizarre creature, just like I was. This gave me a sigh of relief for at least not being exclusive. I put on my pair of jeans & T-shirt and went out of my house to explore the other changes.

As soon as I crossed my colony’s gate and reached to the main road, the scene was not less than a shock to me. It seemed that I had entered to an animal kingdom. I saw a dog family in a passing by car that also has a man,with a leash around his neck, along with them.  My eyes nearly popped out to find the man being pet to dogs! Walking further, I passed a Butcher shop, board outside the shop displayed -Billy’s butcher shop, available Fresh Human meat.  Goat, the owner was sitting on the counter and a Lion was busy buying the meat. I started sweating with fear and walked quickly to get out of their sight, who knows the lion would have got interested in even fresher meat.

I was roaming around all over and reached to an avenue which looked like an important place in town. The full armed forced of Wolves were guarding the building. I wondered what that place was. Suddenly through the corner of my eye, I noticed a van coming towards me;a buffalo was driving it and looking towards me with scorn. It was a van to catch stray humans. It took me a second to understand that it was coming to catch me. I ran as fast as I could, I was so scared that didn’t even dare to look back. All of a sudden, I recalled about my wings and felt the need to use them. I took off my shirt and opened my wings to fly and within few minutes I was soaring high into the blue sky.  I was happy to save myself and enjoying the gentle breeze of relief.

But it was not for a long time, I noticed two – three vultures have surrounded me. I wondered what that new trouble was, when one of the vultures,apprantely a police officer, has asked me to show him my passport.  I was puzzled and not sure what were they exactly asking for. But after sometime, the picture was clear to me. I got to know that a valid permit is required to fly after a certain height from the ground.  I had been then taken to the top of a cliff which was supposedly a court. A colorful parrot was sitting on a judge’s chair. Mr. Crow- the advocate had told the judge that I had been found crossing the border of the aerial kingdom without the passport and Visa. I told them that I was not aware about all this and pleaded to free me. But the judge ordered, to put me into jail for 6 months, for my negligence.  Vultures arrested me, took me to the top of a tall tree, where a huge cage was hanging from a branch and I had been thrown inside it.  Sitting inside that cage I was contemplating, how useless and troublesome these wings proved out to be.After three months, by the virtue of my good behavior, I had been released with a warning. I landed on the sea-shore and swore not to use these wings ever again.

It was a beautiful beach, sitting on a rock I was gazing at the ebb and flow of the waves, shimmering in the twilight.  I turned towards my left and found a beautiful mermaid was swimming in the rippling waves.  I was spell-bound at her mesmerizing beauty.  Her silky hair and twinkling eyes made my heart beat rapidly. I felt like talking to her so I arose from the rock and walk towards her. She noticed me coming towards her and smiled. She swam to a distance, stopped and then smiled back again.  I was so besotted by her that I could not mull over what could be the consequences of entering into the sea,like I just witnessed it for the sky,and jumped into the sea to follow her.I was chasing her blindly but with in no time she disappeared deep into the sea. I searched all around but could not see her. I thought her to be my whim but was amazed to see myself swimming excellently like fish. I observed that this is because my wings have converted into fins and felt like exploring more of marine beauty. As I was enjoying the exquisiteness of the sea, I saw an elegant shell. I lifted it, placed it into my palm and opened it. There was beautiful rare pearl inside that shell, I considered myself lucky to find it.That very moment, two sharks approached towards me at the speed of light and arrested me then and there for stealing the pearl.  I was repenting then for following that mermaid but it was too late. I had been taken to their court.  Starfish was advocating the case. I have been charged with two crimes – one was stealing the pearl and the other was entering the marine territory without passport & visa.  The judge – Mr. Whale announced the punishment of Kala-Pani for 5 years for me,as it was a severe crime according to their law and order.  I wondered what could be a Kala –Pani but could not figure it out. Soon five crocodiles escorted me from the sea to the land and I was then taken to a building called Marine embassy. Inside the embassy there was a huge aquarium supposedly the jail and I have been thrown into it.

There are few more humans accompanying me in this Kala-Pani punishment.  They told me that they treat us very badly. Neither we get food on time nor do they change this stinking water regularly. Life here is not less than a hell.I felt ashamed and cursed for being human. I started crying and didn’t know when got back to sleep.

I woke up shouting loudly as my back was hurting badly. I found myself lying on the floor of my room. I had fallen from my bed. I immediately ran to look myself into the mirror and found myself absolutely normal. I was extremely happy that it was just a fanatical dream but at the same time it left me thoughtful about the human behavior towards animal kind.




Yashi Prasad

Yashi is a Program Manager in an IT firm and reading and writing short stories in her favorite pastime.

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