Tuesday, November 4, 2014

A Day in the Life


Rustling with the canopy of trees, the sun rays finally touched the ground. This meant that it was time to wake up, though, in my whole life, I have never seen it actually happen as I was always the last person to get up in my group. By the time I climbed down from my bed, my mother had already gathered some fresh cocoa nuts for me. She shook my head a little to make me more perceptive of morning. I sat down beside her and we consumed the whole lot in a span of several minutes. Today, I was surely the last person to wake up, because most of our neighbors were done with their breakfast and a few were climbing the trees to break the freshest mulberries.
I decided to go for a stroll to search for fava beans, an after meal snack. I met my friend on the way whom I was meeting after quite some time. We hugged each other, sang our hoot song and then sat down between the bushes of fava beans. Just then, we saw a girl of our age passing through the Fava bean patch. She was quite good looking, especially her hind parts. She saw us looking at her back and yelled at us and ran away from the field. I looked at my friend and we both started giggling.  After an hour or so, I went back home. When I reached there, I saw my mother sitting with a strange old lady. They were sitting near the pond. I was unable to recognize the lady at first. But then I realized, she was my mother’s cousin who used to live with us, a few years back. She hugged me or rather squeezed me and started to kiss me all over my face.  She stopped abruptly in the middle of that outrageous display of affection because she spotted some lice in my hair. She made me sit down in front of her and with utmost concentration she started removing lice. Lice were common in our community. It was an everyday affair to remove lice from each other’s hair. After grooming me for half an hour, she moved on to my mother and spent another half hour on her hair. Then our whole group gathered and planned to go to the other side of our territory in the forest to collect some walnuts and gooseberries.
On our way back home through the forest, we met several members of the other tribe trying to steal fruits from the trees of our territory.  The strongest member of our group yelled at them furiously. His voice was loud and intense, reeking of rage. I knew what happened whenever this call was made: a violent, brutal fight. The adults of our group ran towards them vigorously and simultaneously issuing abuses and threats to them. Most of them scrambled away from the scene swiftly, but our group elders were able to corner a single voracious male who was ready to fight till death. He was defending himself with utmost force. He punched the nearest male on his throat, dug his nails in the hand and was going to bite him. Just then, one male and one female member of our troop attacked him from behind, bombarding him with punches and kicks.  He was struggling for breath but even then, he managed to throw all three of them away from himself. But soon enough, he realized that there was no chance of him winning, as he was outnumbered by twelve to one. Somehow, he managed to slither away from the snatch of the lot. He climbed on the nearest tree where he was followed by three others. He sat down on the topmost perch, eagerly waiting for all of us to leave. Most of the members were retreating back to the group but out of nowhere, that goon made a loud hoot to call his other members. As it was clear that he has not given up, three of the strongest members of our tribe started climbing that tree. They cornered him on topmost perch and beat him black and blue. He fell down the tree and was gravely injured. Unable to walk or even sit, he was very frightened now. After a few minutes, he managed to get up with the support of the tree trunk and limped away towards his territory. I was hiding behind my mother the whole time, peeping occasionally, when they were thrashing him so harshly.
It was twilight when we reached home. This was my favourite time as we would go out and play hide and seek. I met my friends near the pond and today was my turn to find them while the others hid themselves. I had to look for them in the bushy thickets, dense perches and behind the stones. After 15 minutes I found them. We played for another half an hour and went back to our respective homes. I ate some walnuts that we had collected earlier. Then, I climbed on the tree, made a bed of leaves on the perch and slept.

With no thoughts of tomorrow and no worries of today, it is a day in the life of a chimpanzee.

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