Monday, 2 June 2008

Innocently fearless

Hunters visiting forest with full paraphernelia boasting of their shooting capabilities is a common scene, most of them being poachers. They are abundantly equipped with arms and other accessories for the purpose. This exercise is normally for commercial purpose but there are people resorting to hunting as a move of chivalary on their part. In earlier days there was nothing like poaching and hunting took place normally to do away with a menace on account of wild animals including tigers or even wild dogs making intrusions in the nearby villages killing goats and other cattle and also injuring and killing humans mainly children. My father being on a personal visit to Nishangara range of forest on Nepal border, he was approached by the locals there complaining against such untoward incidents occurring very often with mention of one particular tiger requesting him to remedy the menace by killing it. My father was a sharp shooter and he took the job to himself. Accompanied by a few others he entered the forest in a bullock cart. The villagers had already given him necessary clues as to where the tiger could be hiding himself. Near the spot he targetted the tiger and fired from his rifle. It missed as the tiger was hiding himself deep in the den behind thickly bushes and trees. There was a big roar cleaving the atmosphere making every body terror stricken. A local shepherd who accompanied my father asked for a permission to enter deep inside the bushes and recover the bullet that was fired ingnorant as he was that once bullet goes out of the barrel it was a consumed item no more of any worth. My father lambasted him telling that the tiger is just a few yards away and how come he was throwing himself into the jaws of death. His reply was '..don't worry sir, I have this axe with me' to face the beast. My father was amazed but admired so brave and courageous a gesture on the part of the shepherd. This was by all means an innocent act of a great bravery which feature is not uncommon for the villagers residing close to a forest.
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