A Mother's Love
A Mother's Love7 mins 12.8K 7 mins 12.8K
My story is about the selfless love of two wonderful mothers, which has left a deep impression on my mind. It is a true story. I realized from the two incidents, that it is difficult to equate a mother’s love with anything in the world, for it is too genuine and profound! I especially considered that this story is best suited for the Women Writer’s page, as we are all mothers. The saying goes that when a girl-child is born, she is ‘born a mother’, as the instinct to be protective, and caring with due tenderness, is something inborn.
During the short winter holidays, we had decided to go for a quick Safari Excursion to Tagoba Andhari Tiger Reserve, near Nagpur. It is fascinating to watch wild-life from close proximity in their natural habitat. If in the thick under-shrub, all of a sudden to spot something stirring; is great excitement! Sometimes it might be a Mongoose, at other times it might be wildfowl. The Guides seemed to know about their habits. They informed us that we could see tigers submerged in the water when it was too hot. They could also be spotted in the evenings, at places where water could be found, for they went there for a drink. This is how we discovered something extra-ordinarily out-standing regarding life in the Natural Environment.
We went to a water body, to try and get a glimpse of a tiger. There we happened to see something so spine-chilling, that I cannot get it out of my system. In the water, we saw a Sambhar standing with her calf. She must have got separated from her herd. It is a known fact they go into a water body when they feel cornered. All around the landscape was undulating with scattered clumps of bushes. On the other side of the water body, we saw two or three wild dogs. They were running up and down together. The wild dogs looked similar to the street dogs but were leaner. Their legs looked taller and more muscular. The dogs then came to a halt and got into the water to go towards the Sambhar. The Sambhar reacted instantly in a way, which expressed plainly,” Don’t try to mess with me”. She started to stamp her foot vigorously in the water, which sent off ripples of water towards the wild dogs. They saw her tail up in belligerency. The dogs deterred in their quest thought it wise to back away. Then from nowhere, a pack of wild dogs seemed to trickle in. Then their numbers increased to about twenty, puppies and adults together. It seemed they were waiting to ambush their opponent, so now they had come out from their hiding! But whatever their original plan might have been, the dogs had been warned by the Sambhar’s challenging attitude and left the dogs uncertain of their next move. All this time the lone Mother stood resolutely, facing them with her head erect, with an attitude “You dare not!” Very gently, almost tenderly, she pushed the calf behind her with the help of her muzzle.
It was at this time, the leader of the pack, thought of a strategy. There was some kind of communication between the team. For one by one, all the dogs started following the leader, in perfect discipline. They started crossing the rivulet in a wide detour. One would think they had forgotten about their quarry. It was beyond my comprehension that animals too could take recourse to such a stratagem! It was such an astute maneuver of which Napoleon Bonaparte would have been proud! After a protracted dilly-dallying in the thicket, the pack appeared casually on the opposite side, no hurrying and scurrying! Then very leisurely they approached the Sambhar from the back. There were fourteen or fifteen of them, with their gastric juices working, ready for the kill. The pack advanced together, their lips curled back, their teeth as sharp as razors, with a voracious appetite. The encircled Sambhar stood her grounds. In a brave show of bravado, she kept her tail up in full-mast, offering a challenge for the challenge, and beat her legs in the water forcefully, in an attempt to intimidate the attackers. Till the very last, she stood unflinching and defiant, like a besieged soldier on a battlefield, to save her baby, putting the last-minute resistance which was possible. But it was a piteous sight to see the baby dragged out of her reach. The Sambhar, alas did not have hands to hold it back. In front of her, they started gorging on the calf whilst it was still alive. It struggled; it threw its small legs about, it kicked in agony. They tore the baby’s eyes out, they disemboweled her, but life seemed to linger on in the unfortunate prey, in abject helplessness. The hapless mother was a mute spectator to the orgy. The Mother’s heart bled, it cried out, but there was no one to hear her cries in the solitary jungle. One wonders why God permits an innocent baby calf to suffer so much, or how it is, that God turned a deaf ear, when the lone Sambhar, trapped amidst so many voracious wild dogs, must have been calling out to Him, to save her little baby.
Then there was another instance of a mother’s love, which is equally fascinating. We were bent on sighting a tiger. We told the Guide that we had come from such a distance, and if we could not get a glimpse of the Royal Bengal Tiger, our excursion would prove futile. The Guide straightened his cap, and with renewed enthusiasm, told the driver to head towards another water body. Then in sign language, by putting his finger on his lips, he told us not to talk, or make any noise, because it would disturb the animals, which would go undercover. By the side of the jeep, the Guide showed us the pug marks of the tiger. In absolute pin-drop silence, excitedly we watched out for the desired glimpse. But what irritated us most were the sounds which our rickety jeep was making, for we did not want the tiger to disappear. As the jeep moved slowly forward through the clearing, the tires pressed on the dried leaves and twigs with crackling and crunching sounds. Helplessly we looked at each other, in mutual empathy.
All of a sudden the driver stopped the jeep and the Guide pointed to the waterfront. There lay a Sambhar, sprawled out in its full length, with blood streaming down from its throat. It must have been dead for quite some time. Parts of its underbelly had been ripped apart, with the raw flesh exposed. The guide informed us that the tigress had three cubs, hidden away about two miles away, behind some protruding rocks, and boulders, by the side of the river. The Tigress would go all the way to fetch them, as they were too small to get their own food. She seemed to be extremely conscious of her duty as a mother, and it was her love for her babies, that prodded her on to walk the distance and share her meal with them. We followed the track and found that instead of going straight to them, she went into the water, and then called them. One by one they came, and mother and children had a frolicsome time, getting on to each other’s back, falling into the water, sparring for fun, and giving playful bites. Once the calves were in good spirits, she ordered them out. Instantly they obeyed like disciplined children. Then, after she had whetted their appetite by playing in the water for such a long time, she wended her way, on the route she had previously taken. The babies without any argument or protest did what they were told to do, and followed her. The last I saw of them was when they were negotiating their way through thick foliage, one behind the other. I wonder was it sheer instinct, which prompted the tigress to give the calves a good bath, and to put them in a happy mood before she took them for their lunch! A mother it seems knows always what is best for her children, and she will go to any length to get it for them.
This story is a message to all, that even God has such a high notion about a woman’s capability, and intelligence, that he entrusts only a woman with a rickety, fragile baby. When a baby is to be born, it is kept in the safekeeping of a trustworthy woman!