Thursday, June 26, 2008

A Drop of Honey

Many years ago somewhere in the southern tip of India there lived a hunter. He hunted wild animals or birds for their flesh and skin and would sell them to the village market. At times if he had luck he would find fruits, berries or even honey.

One morning the hunter started from home early. He was accompanied by bhola his dog, a dagger he always kept with himself, his bow and arrows and a bhinstee. He had to start early to get a good catch. But the whole day he scanned through the whole forest without any luck. He was so desperate, it did not occur to him that it was getting dark. Black clouds were enveloping the sky and in no time it started pouring.

The hunter, seeing no other alternaive, ran towards a den and somehow managed to save himself from the rain. Hunger and fatigue had the better of him and he fell asleep. The next morning he woke up and tried to scan the den. A buzzing sound drew his attention and he looked up at a distance to see a bee hive, its bosom swelled with the treasure it hid inside.

The hunter immediately drew his dagger and with the expertise of a seasoned honey gatherer cut the hive and gathered almost all the honey into his leather pouch, the bhinstee. He did not take all of it. He had the kind heart and an intelligent mind to leave some honey for its rightful owners the bees.

It was going to a good day for him, some money to splurge and some handia to have at night. Some meat for bhola too. He quickly packed his dagger, picked his belongings, shoulderd the bhinstee and started towards the village market. He had to reach the village grocery store-keeper before the honey fermented.

At the shop the shopkeeper meticulously transferred the honey from the bhinstee into a jar, but somehow a drop spilled into the floor. Few ants were immediately drawn towards it. A bird was watching the whole proceeding from a tree top. It swooped to feast on those hapless ants. The shopkeeper had a pet cat which immediately pounced on the bird. Seeing its eternal enemy, bhola the dog pounced on the cat. Seeing such a brutal end to his cat the shopkeeper, all in rage took out a stick and craked the poor dog's skull into two. The hunter immediately got up, pulled out his dagger and ripped apart the shopkeepers heart. Then it dawned upon him the brutality of his act. So he ran away.

But being from neighbouring villages the news spread like wild fire. The villagers clashed with each other and led to a lot of bloodbath. All this for a drop of honey.

PS: Nobody knows what happened to the honey. But surely, it was not meant for either the hunter or the shopkeeper.

No comments: