When i became the owner of a tiny little piece of this wide earth,I firmly belived that my future was secure.it was a two acre plot with coconut palms and old house that could be renovated...

Those were the days when the price of coconuts was spiralling.I savoured the thought of the palms laden with coconuts.It was a happy existence...

But then arrived the interlopers.Trespassing.Flouting the legality of the ownership documents.Violating the fence at the boundary.Defying the sentry,my dog shan.They did not seem to care for anyone in the world,not even the government!

The first arrivals were birds and butterflies.A wide variety of birds.And so many,many butterflies! Perched on the boughs of the trees and plants,the birds chirped.The butterflies fluttered around in the courtyard,flashing their colours in the sunlight....

We could not shoo off the chirping birds and the butterflies.But then came the crows...Their raucous cawing was more insufferable than the racket of other birds.Besides,they swooped down on the chicks

They were followed by the hawks that perched on the coconut palms with the same intent.They kept watch and waited...

Soon there were mangooses in the bamboo thicket.And foxes in the shrubbery patch near it,ready to pounce on the hens.

Even as i woundered what rigth these creatures had to be on my land,there emerged a fierce creature without hands or legs or wings, a cobra.It stood before me,dignified,majestic,its hood spread out as if asking me what business i had on this patch.

I said,"you had better leave my two acre land.Immediately."

But then,where could it go...Hadn't almost the whole of this earth been bought by man,bit by bit?

My wife said,"The jackfruit has ripened.But squirrels and crows are feasting on it.Birds and bats are eating up all the guavas,sapotas and graft mangoes."

"But that's the beauty of it,"I remarked."God almighty,who holds the universe together without a single prop,has created a variety of things for His creatures-fruit,edible roots,grass,grain,flowers,water,air,warmth and light.Don't you think we should remind ourselves always that birds,beasts and insects too are entitled to the produce of the earth?"

Almighty God,how unfortunate it is that rats have to be killed so that we can live.Can human beings not survive without destroying other creatures of the earth....?

What we need is a scientific method,a novel idea that will make it possible for us to live without killing any creatures...

O Creator of rats,bear with us.They are going to be exterminated.Through treachery.The issue is the loss of nine hundred coconuts every month,the sole means of our livelihood.Forgive us,forgive us.

After shopping for two hours,my wife returned home.Along with other items of purchase was a large tin of rat poison...The poision was mixed with bananas,rice,tapioca,and kept all over the place.Beneath the coconut palms as well.

In four days,five hens,twelve squirrels,two hundred rats and a cat disappeared behind the curtains of Time forever.

Dead rats rotted in the attic.Death was everywhere.The stench apread all over the house.

But the tender coconuts continued to fall.A fortnight passed.The coconut-palm climbers then said," The owls are the culprits.They peck at the tender coconuts."

But that was really an old saying,a myth they had heared from their fathers...The owl is not a vegetarian creature.

After a couple of months,the real culprits were discovered-the bats.After dusk,huge bats come in swarms and cling to the tender coconuts.They gnaw into the tender flesh and have their fill of coconut water. After eating the kernels,they fly away,gratified...

"Let's buy a gun," said my wife."We can shoot bats,foxes and polecats with it."

"Not me.I shall not be party to that.The gun is a symbol of cruelty.It is the child of sin.Man should never have invented it."

My wife's cousin turned up one day with an expensive,grim lokking gun and said,"Within a ten mile circumference ,nearly three thousand coconuts are being destroyed evey day.There is no point in shoting the bats at this spot.On a little is let nearby,stands an old temple.Next to it grow a pair of banyan trees.You can see atleast three thosand bats hanging on two trees.I'll finish them off.If not in one day,in two to three days.Don't you want to witness the glorious sigth of three thousand bats being slaughtered?"

I prayed fervently," Oh bats,save yourselves."

It was astonishing.A miracle!The bats were saved.

My wife and cousin returned shamefaced.Terrified.Deflated.Agitatedly,my wife said,"We just managed to escape by the skin of our teeth.There are some houses around the temple.In a split second,about a hundred people armed with lethal weapons surrounded us.They threatened to kill us if we shout at the bats.Do you know why?They belive that bats the souls of our ancestors!"

I took a desision then.In no noceratin terms I said,"Bats are not the souls of our ancestors.But they are one among God's many creations.Let coconuts be destroyed.That doesn't matter.Let us be satisified with what we get after they have taken their share.They certainly have a right to the coconuts.They too are part of  Almighty's creation,as are the palms.Remember the ancient right that God bequeathed at the auspicious moment of creation-"all living beings are the rightful inheritors of the Earth."


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How would you react if you are constantly being provoked or instigated to get angry?

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