Yarn it! Society

The protest

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Finding something in common with the unfamiliar can change your perception of yourself

The farm guard found this strange creature… a fat, furry, brinjal-like thing, which waddled, swam, had a chubby tail and a face ending in a rectangle. “Animals, be careful, stay away from it. It is dangerous. After all, it is not like the rest of you,” the farm guard announced, “So let’s keep it imprisoned in this corner, in detention, in this cage. That should keep the rest of you safe. Howzat?”

Shut away alone, the brinjal-like thing promptly lost hope. What could one do against many?

The farm guard pounded his chest, “I will protect all you animals against this one thing, this alien. And tomorrow, we will decide how best to get rid of it.”

The night would be long, thought the frightened alien, who had no idea that he was alien; he had always thought he was another animal.

As darkness spread and threatened to engulf the land, he heard a flutter of wings. The birds were always first responders, thanks to good tweeting. “Hello Almost-bird, we heard,” cried the hawks, parrots, sparrows, “You are like us. We all lay eggs. We will stay with you.”

“Oh, what a tight squeeze, brother with a beak!” The ducks squashed in through the bars of the cage. “It is a bill,” the creature explained. The ducks were amused: “Call it what you want, languages differ but you’ve got to admit you are like us.”

Some old-fashioned mooing announced the kind-eyed cows, who usually stayed far from controversy. Not this time. “You are a mammal, we are mammals. You are like us. We’ll stand solidly in your corner and just chew cud.”

The chameleon piped up, giving everyone quite a start. He was, you see, sitting on the fence, completely camouflaged, but the other animals had given him the courage to come out, be seen, be heard. “You have legs at the sides of your body, like lizards, like crocodiles. You are no alien. You are like us.”

The ruckus brought the dogs charging in, goofy-tailed and smoofy-eyed. “Your tail is rather impressive,” the Golden Retriever admitted, “Even though it can’t wag like mine. You are like us. Fear not, strange dog, with us to protect you, no one can harm you.”

The next morning, the farm guard brought his gun, worried that the entire farm looked deserted. He found all the animals in the detention corner. “There may be one of him,” explained the young bulls, horns lowered, non-violent but non-silent, “but there are many of us.”

“You attack the platypus because he’s different. But to us, he’s just like us.”

Where Jane De Suza, author of Flyaway Boy, pokes her nose into our perfect lives.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2020 5:41:00 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/society/the-protest/article30534004.ece

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