"Aaaawwwwhhhhhhhoooooommmmmm" yawned the lion stretching its forelegs. Then stretched its back and hind legs and turned around to its fellow lion sitting next to him under shade of the bamboo bush. "What's the day today, Dirtymane?", he asked the other lion. "Don't know Yawny, the weekend's over I guess...Old Mr. Groaw would know. He has been here for years" replied the other lion shaking its dirty disoriented mane. Old Mr. Groaw was having a sun bath near by lying flat on the ground.
"What is the day today, Sir?" asked the Yawny. "Today is working day... the weekend is over... the sun has also come up high... time to get ready boys...they'll be here in some time"... grawled Mr. Groaw.
"Ohhhhh.... Ahhhh.... Those humans." sighed the lion. "Dude, shine your teeth and lick clean your skin, look fresh and agile, the human's like it"... replied Dirtymane. "Yaaaaaaaaa......" yawned Yawny. As they walked towards the small pool near by to have a look at how they looked in the reflection of the placid water, Yawny said casually, "Why do the humans come here? Poor fellas, they are isn't it? Stuffed in the small moving boxes clinching to the windows" ..."Aahhhuumm, really poor fellas...Have you seen them? How excited they are to see us breathing free air. Pathetic. I really feel petty for them" agreed Dirtymane. "Imagine if one of them lets free. I would go and say how sorry we are for him and invite him to join our life of freedom". "Aaahhhumm"..noddded Yawny. They dipped their paws in the water of the pool to check the temperature. Licked the water once or twice and then headed back. They laid down and posed a perfect posture just beside the stony road.
"Are you ready boys? I can hear them come. Smile or at least look at them once. Are the tigers and the herbivours of our next door ready yet? Dirtymane, send them the message, that the humans are coming".
In the tiger camp, things were different. The number of tigers were more than the lions. There was silence. The white tigers and the yellow bengal tigers are not in talking terms due to the verbal fight they had the other day over who looked better. The white tigers team headed by Mr. Milk and the yellow tigers team led by Mr. RoyalBong. The whites argued that they looked elegant and unique to which the yellows teased them of looking like zebras than like tigers. "Zebras" sounded like an abuse to the whites who took it as an attack on their carnivorous origins. The ceasefire atmosphere is just not to let outsiders(humans) know that there tension between the teams. The two teams sat hurdled in groups with the stony road serving as the line of control.
Herbivours looked disturbed. The scorching heat and lack of rains has dried the fodder. Grasses and herbs have lost greenery. Trees are reduced to skeletonic horror. As young deers jumped all around their mothers found it difficult to manage them. "Don't pester near the road"..."Come and sit here for some time, you are sweating"..."The humans are coming" screamed the concerned mother deers to their calves. "Where do the humans go from this direction to the other?" asked Mrignayani, the elegant looking deer wagging her little tail. "There may be green pastuers where they'r taken to. Suffering and ailing animals first. God help them, poor creatures" replied the handsome deer standing next to her.
In came the bus packed with humans. Chirruping and enjoying the wild animals through the iron netted windows. Flashing cameras with excitement at the sight of yawning lions, sitted tigers, jumping deers and lazy bears.
The Royal Safari....
[Photos courtsey Subhasri. Taken at Banarghetta National Park, Bangalore, March 2010]