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6 mins 971 6 mins 971

There was a scarecrow .I do not know what you call it.I start the story with the fond hope that friends like you may tell me.

There was a scarecrow which was alive only for name sake.It is not known how many years before some bored children had created it.It had taken birth as a bamboo, with an old earthen pot marked with one and half eyes, no nose, wearing no clothes .Children got disinterested with it and had almost abandoned it after some time.The scarecrow stood bearing the scorching sun, the storm and the rain ,enjoying the days of joys and sorrows.

One day God showed his mercy, whether it was a blessing or misfortune cannot be said now, when a farmer, almost looking like a scarecrow, came to settle down in the barren fields.He had his wife and the hope of having children soon. He ploughed the fields for many days, sowed seeds and in a matter of time saw the seeds sprouting.

Our scarecrow was happy to see the greenery. It was not fortunate to see the entire field as it had only one and a half eyes.Along with the greenery, the birds came as they too had hunger.The farmer and his wife spent the whole day driving them out.One day the tired farmer’s wife could see the scarecrow standing at a far end.She had seen it before but did not feel the necessity.Immediately she called her husband and both jointly dismantled it from its place and planted in their field.

Our scarecrow was in a better position now.Farmer’s wife gave it a good bath with two bucketful of water and dressed it with a torn shirt of her husband.Now it became from one bambooed to two bambooed scarecrow .The second bamboo gave support to the shirt with its sleeves flying like a kite.Birds were scared to come near it. The scarecrow started wondering its unexpected power acquired ,and enjoyed seeing the greenery of the field to its heart’s content.The sound coming from the farmer’s house made it happy during its loneliness and it slept or kept awake, as it liked.Days passed off nicely.

Still it had some shortcomings which it could not make out .I too could not find any shortcoming from my side.

With the passing of time the crops were ready and coincidentally a baby girl was born in the farmer’s house.The scarecrow got rejuvinated when a red colored new earthen pot replaced its old damaged head.The old one had cracks at many places and its eyes got reduced to half from one and half.Along with its shirt a long cloth was tied.It looked now like an excited lover running after his lady love merrily in the greenery of the field.After the child grew up she used her artistic skill and gave the scarecrow two eyes,a nose and lips using a piece of charcoal.It looked as though the scarecrow was smiling in its life for the first time!

But this time I found something in its eyes.What was that I cannot tell unless confirmed.Gradually the field became larger and crops got matured .In the mean time the second daughter and a son were born in the house of the farmer.Our scarecrow lived merrily in the midst of the family.

I started feeling that the eyes of our scarecrow were giving the expressions of sorrow and joy more vividly now.Still I wondered as to why its smiling colorful lips were looking so pale and pathetic?

The seasons were coming and going. Our scarecrow showed some change. Its torn shirt and faded scarf were still fluttering in the wind but its head was leaning to one side somehow.When I looked at it carefully I found that it was leaning more towards the farmer’s house and not towards the fields.

That day I found some marks below its eyes made on its head, which was a discolored earthen pot .Why should the scarecrow have tears in its eyes? For what reason?Now I started worrying.I knew that it had not spoken for all these days ,and so I least expected to speak now.But the reason was to be found out.So turning myself as a bird ,I sat on its head sometimes and tried to find the way to enter its head .My efforts increased along with its sadness.

At last one night, its sighs reached my ears and I started hearing it attentively.I do not know how I felt that it was crying.I reached the scarecrow quickly but it had not paid any attention.When I asked,it did not answer, so I started stroking its hairs quietly.For a moment it looked at me.Thereafter it started crying loudly, clinging to me closely. I did not know how the time passed.Later it became calm and peaceful.It looked at me scared.I gave it a consoling smile and we became friends.All friendships are made suddenly.

“Brother , why were you crying”?I asked the scarecrow.

He gave a sad smile and said,”Nothing.”

“For a long time I find you sad.Today I even found you crying.Please tell me what is the matter. Hope your heart may get some relief.”

I got surprised for using the word heart.How will a scarecrow have a heart? As this is only a story anything is possible. Such questions prove futile in stories.

It was morning. The activities started in farmer’s house.

Our scarecrow looked at all directions sadly and started watching their activities.

The farmer, his wife, children….the sound due to chirping of birds --- were all good but the scarecrow looked quite detached.I could get the feel.Still I waited for confirmation after hearing from it.

“Tell me friend, what happened to you?”

“ I am alone, my friend.There is none with me – no wife , no children,no one to talk or hear.See his wife how tastefully she cooks.Its smell comes upto this place.And hearthe children- how sweet they talk.Why am I not destined to have them?

Oh, so this was the reason! I started thinking silently as to what should be done now.What should be given to the scarecrow to make it happy? Marriage! That was a strange thought.But there was no other alternative.

I stroked his hairs and said, “Brother, don’t worry.Let me see”.

He did not believe but the rays of hope which flashed into his eyes moved me.That evening I sat silently in the field of the farmer and hurriedly hid the scarecrow so that it was not seen by the birds.Thereafter all types of birds started eating the crops to their heart’s content.I thought that my plan would succeed and the farmer couple would place another scarecrow in its place!This went on for three days and on the third day the farmer couple became so tired that they did something which was beyond my imagination.

On the third day they went angrily towards the scarecrow and destroyed it.The head of earthen pot went on rolling till it got crashed and crumbled into pieces.Its hands and legs were broken and dumped into the fire so as to have no trace of scarecrow anymore.

If you cut me I will not bleed. I returned back from there feeling guilty. I wanted to help the scarecrow and give relief from its wories. But I became the cause for its death. “From now on I will not think about anybody” with this pledge I disappeared from the scene.

The stories have also their destiny. They do not end in the hands of the compere or stage manager.(Sutradhar)

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