Participate in the 3rd Season of STORYMIRROR SCHOOLS WRITING COMPETITION - the BIGGEST Writing Competition in India for School Students & Teachers and win a 2N/3D holiday trip from Club Mahindra
Participate in the 3rd Season of STORYMIRROR SCHOOLS WRITING COMPETITION - the BIGGEST Writing Competition in India for School Students & Teachers and win a 2N/3D holiday trip from Club Mahindra

Born Free

Born Free

5 mins 1.2K 5 mins 1.2K

August. 'Twas raining torrentially in the African rain-forest. Dark clouds had gathered and welcomed the newborn. Simba gave birth to a cub in a cave. Soon after, the new mother was licking her child. She was happy. A fact that could be seen in her glittering eyes.

Somewhere in a zoo in London, Rani, the lioness in the captive, gave birth to her cub. She had all the facilities at her disposal that the human mind could fathom for an animal. She licked her cub. Happy she was in her heart.

"Be careful Jim. If you miss your shot, we are all up for a soup", whispered Jenny his wife. Jim took a nice look at the mother and fired the tranquilizer. Psszpt. It pierced the shoulder of the wild lioness. Jim and Jenny, renowned animal activists were in African rain-basin on their annual wildlife excursion and to add a conquest to their collection.

As Jim went forward towards the intoxicated lioness, he saw there were two little cubs sleeping just beside the lioness. Carefully, he picked up one of the two sisters and signaled Jenny to pick the other one. But by now one of the sister woke up and started yearning for her mother. Panicked by the sudden cry and not sure if the tranquilizer had made its full mark, Jim and Jenny started running towards their jeep. And before anyone in the open wild forest could understand, the jeep sped off to the base camp. Jim and Jenny re-lived their most challenging excursion till date over a bottle of beer.

"It's showtime darling", Jenny went towards Rani and cuddled her. The feeling was reciprocated. It was a lovely to see such a rare sight. One can never explain the logic behind such an unusual bonding. It was just as pure as the mother - daughter love. To the other felinologists, the four-legged Rani was a mystery which only Jenny could solve.

Arrangements were completed for the annual wilderness excursion of Jim & Jenny. But the crew was unsure if they could keep Rani under control without Jenny. So it was decided that Rani and her newly born cub will be accompanying Jim and Jenny to the base camp. The troop set forth for the African rain forest for the first time since Rani was brought in. Five years whizzed past like anything.

September. The Leo troop touched base in the thick rain-forest. The clouds had gathered over the horizon. It was just a matter of time before the rains started. Satisfied that Rani was fast asleep and that it would be a good five to six hours before she woke up, Jim & Jenny started for the deeper regions inside the forest.

The jeep was parked just about some foot farther. The couple tip toed towards the cave. Everything was very still. Very quiet. The rains had just started to drizzle. The crickets and frogs had just begun croaking. The forest smelled of hot earth. It was cooling down.

Not sure to enter the cave, Jim decided to wait further before they entered the cave. Just then the heavens opened up and let out a huge and blinding lightning thunder. Grrrrr..Somewhere a loud gunshot could be heard.

Unsure of all the happenings, the pair decided to retreat to the base camp. Just as Jenny turned back, she froze. Time came to a standstill. Simba had locked the prey at the focus of her eye. It seemed all to familiar to Simba. She had gone through all this about five years back. She remembered she was separated from her sibling and the overdose of the Valium in the tranquilizer ensured her mother never woke up from the sleep.

"Be careful Jim. If you miss your shot, we are all up for a soup", whispered Jenny to Jim. He took a nice look at Simba. He took an aim at Simba. As he prepared to fire, a huge force struck him from his back and before he knew anything, Rani was on his chest. The shotgun disappeared somewhere in the forest. Not able to handle all the excitement, Jenny fainted and collapsed at her own feet. What followed was never really seen by anyone. It was raining torrentially. Jim was blanking out. All that he could remember was the thunderous roar the two lioness made at each other. The lightening added thrill to the climax.

The ricketting and croaking of the insects grew louder. The muddy pool was soaked in blood. Jenny was the first to regain her consciousness. Dragging herself to her feet, she looked for Jim. Jim was lying a foot further. Still unconscious. His elbows and knees were bruised.

As she gained total consciousness, she saw Rani panting on the bark of a fallen mahogany tree. She was bleeding from her paws and arms. A scratch was seemingly evident on her calm face. A cub was playing with her tail. Simba was sitting far far away.

Missing for over 12 hours, search troop from Leo had set forth to look for Jim and Jenny. Rani was not their concern. Yet olders were strict and clear. Shoot at sight.

As they neared the cave near the ridge, Simba took off fearing for her life. She knew her cub was safe with Rani. The troop closed on near the couple. Someone took an aim at Rani. But the sniper stopped before firing the shot. Jenny could be seen.

Jenny was cuddling Rani like her own baby. Like every time, the feeling was reciprocated. Rani behaved like a baby with Jenny. It was for the first time Jenny actually felt the pain of separation.

Rani fought with Simba to protect Jim & Jenny. She remembered all the care and nurture that they had given to her. She was indebted. It was never heard of such humanly emotions in the beast of wilderness. She waited for them to regain consciousness. The video recorder accidentally was started on when Rani leaped on Jim. The entire video is now a well known history of the Leo troop. Everyone in the world knew about it now.

It been another 5 years since the day in September when Rani was set free back to the wild. Jim & Jenny re-lived the memories over a bottle of beer in London. Somewhere the two hearts remembered each other. Rani and Jenny carried each other in their heart.

'You can take the Lion out of the Jungle. But you can never take the Jungle out of the Lion. They are Born Free!!".

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