Once upon a time, in a land far far away (which exists only in my mind), there was a jungle. A jungle which had all sorts of animal species living together in peace, and harmony. The jungle, like every other normal jungle, had the law that only the most powerful will rule it. But strangely, there was something different about the ruler of the jungle. It didn’t live in a pride, it didn’t hunt other animals. It wasn’t something everyone was afraid of. It was a kindhearted stag. A warrior stag, who still had his horns stained with the blood of the oppressors, who once tried to take over the whole jungle to establish their lawlessness.
Despite having wolf-packs, and lion-prides, the jungle was still safe for most of the animals, because of having a strong, and skilful ruler. Wolves still remembered that how their leader got impaled on the horns of a grown-up deer, and was dragged like that from one end of the jungle to the other, and was left there to be eaten out by the vultures. Lions knew that if they try to raise a rebellion, they would be crushed under the feet of elephants and rhinos (The jungle’s heavy armour division), just like their previous generation did. Snakes knew that the Eagles (Air Support) were loyal to the stag’s authority. It isn’t like that the predators couldn’t hunt, they could hunt, but there was a reasonable limit to it. In short, everyone knew their rights, and their power, and how to use it to maintain peace (all thanks to one wise deer ruler).
Animals have this natural bonding with each other. Even if they belong to different species, they pretty much understand each other, unlike humans, who generally happen to be…holes. Right next to the jungle, not very far away, there was a village, populated by the humans (and a bunch of monkeys). In the village, there were tales about how some villagers had been mauled to death by the animals in the past. In the jungle, there had been tales of savage hunters, who would kill animals, skin them, cook them on fire, dance and sing around the burning flesh, and would finally eat it. For the animals, this whole thing was like a satanic ritual, and it scared them to the marrow of their bones.
In the very same village, there was a little, budding love-story. A typical one, where the parents of the couple would never let them marry each other; instead put more and more restriction on them. And naturally, this had to end up in an undesirable way. Yes, the couple decided to elope. No one knew where to go, but they only wanted to run away. And again, the very expected move, their families, out of their “honour”, had decided to catch the eloped couple, and punish them. (I know for most of my westerner readers, this will be a strange thing, but it does happen where I live. Not everywhere, but at places, love is a taboo.)
Having nowhere to go, the couple, in a state of hurry, made a genius decision of hiding in the jungle. They weren’t totally out of their mind, and had decided not to go very deep into the jungle, but still deep enough to find a place to hide. The villagers searched for them, but couldn’t simply find them, and finally assumed that they’re dead because it had been almost 3 days since they eloped.
Almost half of the jungle knew they there has been an infiltration, but the stag decided that the humans were not much of a threat, and never thought of taking any action; still, he told the animals to be conscious about the foreigners.
As another day passed, the couple had lesser resources than it had when it ran away from the village. Both looking at each other, making compromises over compromises for each other, just could not think about how to survive like this (Most probably because none of them saw Man Vs. Wild on the TV). They had plans to move to the nearest town, which was a few hundred miles away, but travelling without resources isn’t easy.
You know, love can get you peace but it can not give you food. Both were each other’s sunshine, brightening up everything for their partner. Were like each other’s moonlight, lightening up the darkest hours for each other. But this budding love-story was going to be starved to death any hour from now.
The stag, in addition to being a wise ruler, was a wise father as well. Every day, he used to take his little fawns for some walk, telling them about the geography of the jungle, teaching them how to fight, training them, introducing them to the animals, and their specie-specific customs. He knew that he needed to have a strong successor like him if the peace was to be kept because there readily were many eyes on the jungle’s throne.
During one similar tour of the jungle, the crows (Intelligence services) reported the stag that the humans were preparing for another “satanic ritual”. He quickly called in a squad of wild buffaloes and told them to escort the little fawns in the deep jungle, back to their mother. Meanwhile, the stag was reported about the whereabouts of the human couple, and he started to rush towards them.
The young boy, filled with the will of taking something back to his girl, kept on walking and decided to go deep into the jungle. After he thought he has walked deep enough, he started to lay a trap with the rope he had picked up before leaving the village. While laying the trap behind the bushes, he saw 3 little deer running, and meeting their mother, and the wild buffaloes leaving the place after successfully escorting the fawns to their mother.
Back to the girl, she managed to light up some fire and crafted a perfect setup to cook whatever the boy would bring back. Seeing the smoke rising, the stag had a much better estimate about the whereabouts of the threat, and he paced up.
The boy had his trap ready, and he just needed to scare off the deer family in a way, that at least ONE of them runs towards the trap. So, he, while hiding himself, carefully went to the other side, took an aim at one of the fawns, hoping that he wouldn’t need the trap if he gets a small deer killed with an arrow. Just when he pulled the string back, the mother deer (the doe nighean, as the stag used to call her) heard the sound, made a sudden voice, and all the deer quickly started running. The boy was in a perfect direction to make the deer run towards the direction of the trap. Just a matter of seconds, and the doe had a rope around two of her legs. She told the fawns to run straight to the bears, which they did.
By now, there was a constant political stirring in the jungle. Wolves and the lions had come out. They knew that their fear was away to the outer jungle, and they had some time to roam free in the jungle, breaking the established law, which they did.
While the boy was almost finished with skinning off the doe, he heard a long, agonizing muffled cry of a woman. Of a woman with whom he had promised to live a worthy future. All stained with the doe’s blood, he quickly ran back, only to see a stag in his way, whose horns were again stained with some fresh blood, and a small piece of ripped cloth was waving off them from one end.
A moment, where your thoughts are screaming, but they never make it to your mouth
They both looked at each other, recognizing the bloodstains, dying inside with the regrets of leaving their most beloved beings. They just rushed towards each other, with nothing in their minds, except vengeance. In less than 5 seconds, the stag had a 21-inch knife stabbed in his throat, and the boy’s lungs had got penetrated with the thick horns.
Back in the forest, the puppy wolves finally had some quality food after a long time, which they desired to have since their births. (Yes, the fawns never made it to the bears). There was a complete “hour of anarchy” in the jungle until the Lions took over, and within a week, the jungle had the typical “law of the jungle” like any other jungle.
Our World is pretty much like that one “hour of anarchy” right now. Wars, murders, and killings. The loss of one person, or one community results in the gain of another community, and vice-versa. Despite being one species, the difference of interests, and view have grown so great, that we actually get happy when someone else gets sad. Our happiness and our sadness are relative. The most desirable “win-win” situation is now only limited to a few pages of the books intended to teach strategic planning and management. I believe that the concept of “win-win” situation should be taught as a basic human value since the very early age. Children should be taught that extremism is a bad thing, and we always need to find a middle-way for our problems, so that our benefit doesn’t become a reason for someone else’ loss.
As for the story, the couple just woke up after their wedding night in their home, both amazed by the fact that they saw the same horrible nightmare of getting mauled to death by a hot-headed stag in the jungle, who, by the way, is still the president of the jungle. Cheers!