Wild Animal Sighted

I mean…. I was leading a normal life, going about my business trying to fit in this and that….and suddenly one day I got an SMS from SMS CASTER ‘Wild Animal sighted, people are requested to be wary and inform xyz abc blah blah….etc’ This was while I was on my ‘relaxing’ walk

Most of my walks are not that energetic, ‘to be fit type’, walks. They are more like ‘laid back, relaxed, lost in thoughts’ ones. In any case, the SMS did make me look around and this is what I saw

Yes, semi wooded area with overgrown flora and fauna...

Obviously it had me worried. Anything could be lurking around in those tall grasses, short trees and bunched up bushes. But the very practical part of my mind which always kicks in when circumstances arises... woke up and informed me ‘hah….all nonsense there is nothing around’ and with that I returned home safely

Next day the whole society was abuzz with stories about an animal being sighted. People said ‘Someone saw a tiger! under a lamp post and it was pointed out to the guards and even the guards saw it’ 

Now this new information was discussed with lot of enthusiasm and vigour. I thanked god for not being the one who had sighted the animal, I wouldn’t have liked being analysed and dissected like that. People can be ruthless

So the next day I walked more cautiously ensuring to look left and right and left again... Imagine meeting this on the way

Well I didn’t, however I saw a group of ladies (tigresses..haha) ahead and eagerly joined them for the latest update. 

‘It was a spotted Hyena’ she said ‘not a tiger after all’ 

‘Hyena?’ Asked another ‘Don’t they move in packs?’ 

We all nodded wishing we knew more about hyenas to add in here.

Well, maybe there are more’ said the lady who had earlier given this information.

All of us dispersed feeling a tad apprehensive. I started looking out for this as well... better safe than sorry

My walk became ever slower. After sometime just as I was gaining some confidence back I met a couple I knew very well. 

Well, walks are always interspersed with nods at familiar faces, an occasional wave of hand here and there, a smile, a raised eyebrow,…you might think you walking the ramp or something!!!...  a greeting, an enquiry, a questioning look, ‘new face?’, a smirk ‘I am faster’… I am thinner’ ….ahem.... so this couple stopped me.

‘Did you hear the latest? It’s not safe to walk alone anymore’ said the man. I shrugged my shoulders, 

‘there is a striped hyena around’ added the woman wanting more reaction out of me 

‘Striped? I said, ‘I was told it was a spotted one’ proving that I was updated.  

‘No…how can a spotted one be mistaken for a tiger?’

‘Whatever it is, do be careful’ warned the couple and we parted.

Mind reeling I continued ahead, didn’t want to meet this either.

A meeting was held the next day where another member of the society informed that their maid saw a strange animal on the tree, it had spotted back and she couldn’t identify the animal. It was concluded that perhaps it is a leopard after all!

I was worried for my children who frequent the road with gay abandon; no amount of cajoling convinced them of these predators roaming the neighbourhood. They phoo- phooed  it just like they do for everything that we have to say…..

People stopped venturing out in the evening and finished their walks by late afternoon. News spread that paw marks were seen and some carcass was also lying about.

The forest department was informed and they came and scoured the place. Definitely a large cat was all they could say!

No problem, we are well prepared said my head

And then as I was walking admiring the blushing sky in the setting sun eagerly waiting for darkness to engulf it ... I stopped short and a hyena crossed my path ambling along unconcerned of me and my crying mind ...look out!

I decided not to let on anyone know about it lest they start my dissection as well!