A tribute to an unknown creature
It was a wet monsoon morning. We had recently shifted to our newly constructed house. After weeks of packing and unpacking and then arranging things, I had finally got some time to relax. Nothing soothes me more than a day spent in my bed with a good book and a mug of coffee, especially when there is no trace of sun in the sky. I was about to start reading when my mom's voice informed me that she was leaving for office. As she grabbed her purse and moved out to the front yard, I followed her in order to lock the gate after her. We said our goodbyes before she drove away.
I closed the large iron gate after she left. As I turned back, my eyes met a beautiful little creature crawling on the marble floor in front of the door. I observed her for a few seconds. Nearly an inch long, she was black in color. Her body looked like a series of tiny interconnected tubes, with a triangular tube each at the beginning and the end. Each little tube was decorated with two orange dots near the edges. The orange dots formed a long line on both sides along the entire length of her body.Sprawling outwards from below those dots were innumerable tiny legs, which often aligned so as to form numerous small triangles when she moved. When trying to identify her on internet later, a smooth caterpillar was the closest (though not close enough to be identical) I could get.
I rushed inside and returned with my camera a few minutes later. As I moved closer and leaned over her to capture her, I heard my neighbor Mrs. Ahuja shouting. She had been watching the whole exercise for some time. As she saw me moving close to it, she began to panic and tried to dissuade me from doing so. I asked her to calm down; it was just a small creature for God’s sake. I heard her calling upon her servant Titu and instructing him to “throw the insect away”. I clicked a few snaps of my little friend before Titu could arrive. Soon I could hear him banging on the gate. I opened it to let him in. “How are you going to move it outside”, I asked and began to look around for something on which he could place the little creature and take her away. I had the trash tray in my mind. “Kahan hai wo? (Where is it)”, he asked me. I pointed in its direction. Before I could ask him to take the tray, he, to my horror, raised his foot and crushed the innocent creature under his shoes.
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