October 28, 2006

The Leopard - Concluded!!!

…Raj had no time to react. He was in the way of an angry leopard and the leopard, true to its nature, went straight for the jugular. It was a reflex action, more than anything else that saved Raj. His head jerked and the leopard’s teeth, missing the neck, were buried in Raj’s shoulder. The leopard’s claws ripped through Raj's shirt and tore the flesh on his chest and back. Raj lost his balance and fell, the leopard on top of him.

Raj’s mind raced from the present situation to his family, which was oblivious of his danger. He had two sons, his pride and joy, and a wife to whom he had never said an angry word. The thought of his family brought a smile to his face and a determination to fight and survive. He tried to push the leopard away from him, but in vain. The leopard, in the meanwhile, had unclamped his jaw from one shoulder and manged to lodge his teeth in the other shoulder. Its claws were tearing away at Raj’s skin and exposing more and more of his skeletal system. Raj realized he did not have much time. If something was to be done, it was to be done now. From the corner of his eye, he saw his staff trying to get near the animal, but running back as soon as the animal looked up and growled in their direction.

“No help is going to come from them.” Raj thought.

Suddenly Raj’s hand felt the leopard’s tail. Instantly, he recalled his childhood, when he used to tease the neighbor’s cat by holding it by its tail and the cat would make vain efforts to turn back on him.

“Leopard”, he thought to himself, “ is but a big cat.”

He gripped the tail firmly with both hands and pulled at it with all his strength. To his intense relief, the leopard, surprised by this sudden move, let go of him and soon was facing in the opposite direction. The angry cat was trying to turn back and attack its captor but Raj was right : the leopard, try as hard as it could, was not able to turn back. The leopard then tried to break free, dragging Raj along with it, but Raj knew that losing his grip would be death and he held fast. The leopard, unable to break free, started to attack the people in the crowd.

Later, it was in the papers that a person, unfortunate enough to get close to the leopard performed a bodily function that under normal circumstances requires the taking off of the pants. But under the attack of an animal as ferocious as a leopard his forgetfulness was generally forgiven.

Raj, in the meanwhile, was fast losing blood and energy. He was on his feet now and had been able to hold on to the leopard and, to some extent, calm him. He felt brave enough to let go of one hand off the leopard’s tail and use it to hold the leopard down. Surprising even himself, Raj managed to force the leopard down on the ground, one hand firmly grasping the tail and the other arm pressing the leopard to the ground. Then he blacked out.

Later, when Raj woke up, he found himself in a hospital room.

“What happened?” he managed in a barely audible whisper.
He was informed as to how he had managed to hold the beast down and how once people saw that it was down, they grew in confidence, and struck out at the leopard with whatever they could lay their hands on, and in no time the leopard was dead. Raj was saddened to hear of the leopard’s death while at the same time he was thankful to be alive. His wounds were restricted to his upper body and miraculously, his face was untouched.

When, later that evening, he knocked at his door, his family was pleasantly surprised to see him because they had expected him to be out of town.

“Dad, you are back!” said the older son.

“ Yes, and son, I killed a Lion today.”

Smiles and laughter passed around, as the family thought Raj incapable of even hurting a fly. But, as he took off his shirt and the blood stained bandages came into view, there was shocked silence till Raj quickly assured them that he was all right and that there was nothing to worry about. The family then got together to thank God and have a happy dinner.

The sons got a story to brag about for the rest of their lives: The story of their dad killing the “ Lion”.

The picture is that of the actual leopard that died on that day. The man in the white shirt is Raj of our story. There were many more bandages under the shirt.


CyberCelt said...

Raj was very brave and smart. Normally, you do not grab a large cat by the tail, but what else can you grab?

See you on BYB Sunday.

stev said...

interesting documentary indeed

glad that you can be so proud of your father =)

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