At first, it was the red ants who raised the clamour,
they huddled together and went to the cattle,
they fought and died and shed their blood.
Then the white monkeys came with ballot papers,
the white far hiding their cold coal hearts,
they weaved them a starry dream,
and then sucked the blood of the forests.
It was then cattle and lambs joined the red ants.
The Monkeys had mortgaged their starry dreams to
the wolves and crocodiles of the west.
The crocodiles wanted to create a zoo for the animals
so one night they burnt the forest down,
but the red ants fought on.
Across the corridor, things were no better.
Here the cattle had left their shed long back.
They now lived in shanties and refugee camps,
they pulled carts, ploughed fields and at night longed for a home.
So the white monkeys weaved them a concrete dream now.
The monkeys hanged a carrot in front of their eyes.
Soon the cattle evolved into donkeys,
There were no mirrors for decades,
So for years, they never saw themselves,
they couldn’t realise how they looked now.
And those who realised had become too comfortable being donkeys.
When the carrots exhausted,
the monkeys summoned the pigs and vultures.
That’s how the BT-carrots were introduced.
They opened the gates to the raccoons, wolves and red foxes.
Soon brugmansia, monkshood and bladderwort grew on the red soil.
Slowly and slowly, they sucked the blood of the earth,
And the corridor turned into a desert.
The red ants still fought on,
Digging tunnels, they waited in their burrows,
Awaiting a moment, a coup d’état,
when they can spill over for one last time,
and turn the soil red again with their blood.
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Indian Review | Author | Amit Kumar Das was born in 1981 in Silchar, Assam. He is a journalist, and a video editor. He writes on his blog http://ridethroughsilence.blogspot.in/