Monday, January 26, 2009

The elephant in the jungle

The elephant, like all elephants was a hefty animal. Today, he reflected back on his life in the jungle. He had a home in the jungle; he was quite well off and healthy. He was also respected in the jungle, by and large. All the animals there knew him to be a nice guy. He shared a rapport with the bear, the panda, the mouse, the eagle and quite a few other denizens of the jungle.

However, he had a niggling problem, apparently intractable. Mice sought to take over his cave home, or atleast part of it. They sought a coveted corner in his cave actually. He had fed the mice, but they only seemed to want more of it. He had even fenced a small part of the corner for their use. They had ruined their corner and had created holes in the fence to reach his part of the cave. Whatever had had in that corner was under a constant threat. He wondered if he should move his things from there. But that might not solve the problem, he thought.

This was not something new though. When he was a little boy, mice had tried to take over the cosy corner. At that time, he had charged in with all his boyish enthusiasm and driven them off. That seemed to have driven some sense into them, but they were always there. A mouse here, a mouse there and they expected to own the corner for themselves. Lately they were becoming more and more audacious. They had begun to raid other parts of the cave.

In between for a while, when he was busy dozing, they had even created their nests in his coveted corner. It took him a little while, but he snuffed them away from there. He wondered if he should take the battle to the mice which was just outside his cave dwelling. He stopped short of doing that hoping that it would get better.

Since then, the mice menace got worse. Hope alone did not seem to work. There were now raids parts of the cave outside the corner. Every now and then, his food supplies were getting raided. He was bit quite a few times in the bargain. But he showed restraint each time, while he could have easily crushed a few mice under his foot. Now the mice had access to fire too - the great equalizer in the jungle, with help from the panda. He had a fire burning in his cave for a long time now, but the thought of using it never crossed his mind. He needed it just for the light. Indeed, he seemed to forget that he had a fire at all.

As he sat back and wondered on the years that went by, he examined his position. He had referred the mice problem at the jungle council, but it did not lead to anything. The mice had troubled the eagle and the eagle had taken the battle to the mice eating a few of them, but it did not look like anybody would fight his battle. He met the bear, the panda and the eagle, but beyond a sympathetic ear, nothing seemed to happen. The camel and the panda for some reason were sympathetic towards the mice. The eagle, right now, had an ambivalent stance, or so it seemed.

He wondered what he should do. One thing seemed to be clear, he had to fight his own battles, like in the olden days. It was too much to expect someone to come exterminate the mice in his cave. Did it matter what the other animals thought, since in any case they did as they pleased? So, why was he to bother with these niceties when it had not gotten him anywhere for many years now? He sat looking morosely out of his cave. What could he do? Elephants were supposed to have a long memory, but he seemed to losing it...

What do you think the elephant should do?

5 comments:

Magic Puddles said...

if you don't like the mice - stop feeding them! keep your place neat, foodstuff out of reach for the mice - they will not trouble you anymore.

Prasanth said...

Nice parable on the Indo-Pak situation!!.

Ramesh said...

Nuke the Mice !! :)

Hemal Mehta said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hemal Mehta said...

Elephant has now become dirty, lazy fatso, different parts of his body are interested only in getting and storing as much fat as possible. And yes there are worms in his stomach, lice in his hair, the list is endless.

First step is to get himself in order, gotta be clean, take a good bath, thats what elephants are known for.

Nuking will destroy the whole jungle.
Need to be creative. Something on the lines of Farkhor Air Base.
One suggestion is to use a kind of rat-poison, when ingested at home the mice dies out in the open and not in your home.