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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Chapter 1 - The Arrival of Kaa




Chapter 1

The Arrival of Kaa


“Look out, do not play on those branches, they are tricky, and dependence on weak things can result in disaster.” An old trembling voice warned through words of wisdom.
“Oh Grandpa!” pat came the reply “When will you stop worrying?” “We have grown on these branches and they have never let us down” the young monkey replied, he was hanging upside down, his tail wrapped around the branch.
“Son, please come in and play here, if you fall, there is nothing but the deep valley below.”
“Oh My!!” “Look at the valley below, it is so exciting from here, and the river? You must see the color of blue merging beautifully with the green” the son became ecstatic, he blew a whistle signaling others to join him. The group of young monkeys raced towards him despite the protests from the old grandpa. Several feet trampled the grass and shook the earth in wild excitement. The branch did not break either. The old monkey watched them helplessly with concern, he too, had been adventurous in his prime, but the advancing age had made him anxious, safety, and not risk became his priority. The experience made him wise, and the same experience made him paranoid. He could speak for hours on the dangers of hanging upside down on a branch of a tree, or climbing the rocks that could hurt, or eating fruits that could cause stomachache. He could lecture, just like the monkeys of his age did.
His ears became alert at the cracking sound of a branch; his heart skipped a beat, and his eyes hurriedly scanned the tree and a momentary terror that sparkled in his eyes subsided when he saw his grandson enjoying throwing berries on his friends. “Be careful” the words came out more of a habit knowing well that they meant little to the young blood thriving on adventure.  At that moment the group of monkeys jumped high and went down with a loud shriek, the worried look swept the face of grandpa. His son disappeared again in the valley.
“Wow, this is amazing.” The young monkeys appeared again “We are bouncing, and grandpa the branch is very strong. Do not worry about us.” The excited voice spoke hurriedly before disappearing. “Hooray………..”
The young monkeys failed to see the dark shadow from beneath rapidly coming towards them. As they jumped again, they found themselves in the dark engulfed by the shadow. This time they did not bounce, they felt their body torn apart as something pierced their soft skin. Their disappearance in the shadow was so swift that they did not even get an opportunity to scream.
Grandpa began to stroll anxiously towards the edge of the cliff, his body shivering with anger and fright. The young ones were always irresponsible, and he thought if it was not for the wise monkeys like him, the species would probably have become extinct, cursing under his breath, he was determined to punish them for their undisciplined behavior.  He stopped abruptly. There was silence. The sound of mischief was gone. Everything suddenly became still. “They are again playing pranks on me, this time I will not be fooled.” The grandpa was angrier then ever. As soon as he edged near the cliff, he felt the hot air blowing from below. Before he could take a look in the valley, the shiny ball appeared in front of him from nowhere. The ball stood still. Grandpa was unable to understand if this was some trick played by his grandson. He strained his eyes for the closer look, but the ball had disappeared. The ball reappeared. Grandpa let out a shriek and began to run. He stumbled, fell and got up only to fall again. He watched the ball with his mouth, his eyes filled with horror. The sound of roar filled the atmosphere creating panic among the birds that flew from their nests in the direction they did not care. The feeling of being safe and secure in the home vanished with the deafening roar. The sky was filled with shrieks and cries of birds. The ball disappeared in the valley. Grandpa lay there, his body shaking wildly, tears rolling from his helpless eyes. He closed his eyes and began praying.