Teeth bared, eyes tapered to slits, spitting in rage,
Paced up and down the narrow confines,
An otter, grey.
Fraying the cord that bound its velvety neck to the cage.
Face fraught with disquiet, stood a frightened child petite,
Looking from the encircled pursuers’ faces to the beast’s.
The cogs of her mind working with all their might,
Deciding who could be the deadlier of the two.
The pursuers hooted and bellowed louder still, piercingly,
Happiness frothing forth, at the joy of conquering.
Their ancestors had been conquerors too. Unrelenting,
In the face of anguish mirrored in the eye of the captured.
Was it fear or ire in the eye of the beast?
The little one fathomed hard to comprehend.
A little voice within her mind breathed into her soul,
A silent prayer, a revelation in the face of her predicament.
The veil of night was drawn upon the landscape,
And, nature rested in serene repose, only to be broken
By a faint and feeble whimpering that arose from the cage.
A mysterious creaking of the door pricked the numb silence.
Fighting panic, a pair of little hands tugged
At the rusted lock of the cage,
Prying it wide open, running back in fear, not pausing to see or think.
Amid a slight drizzle, darkness melted away into the spreading dawn.
Morning brought with it more hooting and bellowing,
Vain and discontent faces contorted into grimaces.
And, a cloudless sunny sky, shone down onto an empty cage
Bathed in and out in the golden rays of hope.
M K ONAMPPATHIPP