A rat’s story


It was damp and dark. It was tough to find a way through the dump and it was even harder to spot food. It hadn’t eaten the whole day. There was no concept of time, so it didn’t know how long it had been since the last meal of the half-eaten chapatis. It saw light coming out from a room. Finally a hope to not sleep empty stomach. It climbed a few drain pipes to find a balcony.

It was dark outside and the door was half open. What if another of those monsters were on the other side of the room? The only way to find out was to go inside. It mustered some strength and pushed the door. Something was sleeping. It had seen such things many a times while wandering. It never knew what they were. They could stand up on two limbs, it couldn’t. They stood in front of each other with strange movements of their mouths. Sometimes they made a lot of noise which would wake it up from sleep. It could never understand what they were and what they did. There were always lots of papers in their rooms. But, paper wasn’t any good for its empty stomach.

While the creature slept, it moved quietly searching for food. It could smell something at the other end of the room. It had to pass the creature in order to get there. It had to be careful if it didn’t want to wake it up and survive another night with no food.

It moved slowly. It would stop at any instance it felt there was noise. It could hear even the slightest movement. Finally it came near the open packet of chips. It started eating it. God, it was delicious. It felt like none of those chapatis it had eaten yesterday. After emptying the packet it turned back. And there, the creature was standing with a stick in its hand. It was frozen in its place. It couldn’t move. It tried to say something but the creature didn’t stop. In its last moment, it could see the stick lowering, the lights fading and its heart beat slowing. Slowly, it closed its eyes, thankful to God for the last meal. Its last sleep wasn’t going to be with an empty stomach.

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