FRIENDS

He walked into my life
And said, I am here for you
And stayed true to his words
Always there in joy and pain
Without expecting any gain
My friend he is forever long

She understands me like no other
To her my moods swings are no bother
Closer to me than a sister or brother
Unsaid she hears my silent voice
Unshed she wipes tears of my heart
My friend she is oh so smart

In gratitude for such precious gems
I accept my friendships with delight
For they see no age, faith or race
Be they of black, brown or fair face
Friends shine bright in each ones life
Like twinkling stars in a dark night

Friends are the bright rays of hope
When in despair one cannot cope
In times tough when one feels like crying
They make you smile with efforts trying
To be understood and understanding
Friendship is that gift of daring caring.

The secrets of your hidden feelings
The thoughts that develop with shavings
All intact and extremely safe remain
With friends around in your domain
Conversing in detail or in utter silence
With friends there’s freedom, no pretense.

DEATH OF HONOUR

 

They were celebrating my dying bit by bit with their cheerful screams and claps. Oh! It was deafening. Here I lay choked up in pain and they appeared passionate over my anguish. I had reached the final stage of my breathing as I heard the bells ringing. These were the bells hanging around the dark mules of death.

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The brace fitted around my neck was now hooked on to the straddle attached behind these three sturdy black horses of death. I had breathed my final a minute ago and was now a mere object of display( if I tend to believe I wasn’t that earlier) who was paraded with great honor around the arena. The honor wasn’t for me obviously. It was for my death by torture.
It was nearly 45 minutes ago when I was being feted like royalty. I felt superior to other bulls in the house, as I became the chosen one to be fed well and given a beautiful luxurious shower. Yes, indeed it was luxurious as I was scrubbed to eliminate any smell arising from me. My hair was brushed and I felt very pampered. How I wished I could go near a river to have a good look of my royal self in the reflection below. Oh! and I must say I was confused when I saw the old guy in a brown uniform, come towards me with a shining strand of red and suspected something strange from his expression. To my surprise, he came and tied that red ribbon over my head nearing my neck. I thought to myself, ” the guy doesn’t seem so bad after all. Why, I was unnecessarily getting scared of his expression”.
Now the urge to look at my reflection in the water was even stronger as I felt I must be looking very pretty with the rosette over my black coat of hair. But, I still wondered why and how did I become the chosen one. After all, since days and months I had been looked after and made to stay together with my other bull friends. We often played around and raved about each other’s horns as we tested their strength upon each other by some kiddish fights. We were all fed equally well and all of us grew stronger and meatier by the day.
Needless to say I felt flattered when I was brought out in an open arena crowded with hundreds of humans sitting in a circular setting. They welcomed me with a huge round of applause. ” I must be really looking handsome that they seem to like me”, I said to myself. How I wished there were some cows around me so I could impress them with my good looks today.
The sand below my feet must have been groomed like me as it appeared flattened smooth to perfection with white chalked circular borders. The sight seemed great when I spotted a guy with a slim outline prompting me with his gurgled sounds. He held a skirting cloth in his hands and seemed to be teasing me into action. I had a good look around the arena, filled with numerous people and their sounds. This was my opportunity to show them my might, so I plunged towards the skirting with speeding rage. I felt my chest broaden with pride in anticipation of the applause I could get.

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To my dismay, it was a tease game. The guy ran away all of a sudden behind some sort of a hidden room. All I could see was the skirting peeping out of the edges back and forth. As I neared it, it would shy away from my eyes. If I pushed forward to anyhow get a hold, I landed up hitting my head against the wall. “Oh! That was very rude”, thought I. I had always been bred by very caring humans and hadn’t seen this facet of theirs. I have known and grown to trust them so far and sadly this wasn’t what I had expected of them. ” This is just a solo disrepute of the race,” thought I, ” humans cannot be cruel”.
I was just pondering about these humans when I spotted another guy with the skirting cape trying to tease me. I made up my mind that this time, I wasn’t going to be fooled, so I ran harder. Alas! It was the same result this time too. Once again the skirting peeping inwards and outwards through a magical wall which seems to allow only the humans. And then I saw another pair of skirting guys hurling aloud. I ran towards one of them aiming to target this once.

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Voila! I did manage it and pushed straight into the skirting. The skirting seemed to be on wings as it moved in different directions as I approached it. The movements were getting intense as now I found myself juggling between two skirting guys. “Why were they doing this to me? What did I do wrong? Is this some new game I am being trained into?” Several questions burdened my now tired mind but I had no time to gasp for a thought as they kept inciting me.
Then I saw other skirting guys enter the arena when one of the guys got hit by me. I laughed at the smartness of these humans. I was alone and they were taking turns and coming forth one by one. They are apparently no match for my strength, hence they needed to be many to fight me alone. “But why? Why this fight? Why this teasing game? Hadn’t they been so friendly until this moment, then what went wrong suddenly”?
The two new guys now approached me flaunting the skirting. As I ran towards one of them, a bit tired but alert, his twisting of the fabric was as if a hallucination. I lost my balance, and went head on towards the ground. I thanked my sturdy pair of beautiful horns for protecting my head against any injury. No sooner had I done that, I found a horse with a figure atop in the arena. Apparently there were two of them, but I hadn’t noticed the other one. I heard the figure to be of a human again as he hurled tones towards me.
So now the guys had resorted to this. They were probably tired of being on their two feet so they wanted to torture another animal (who was the animal here?) by sitting on its back. Or were they scared to be injured by me? I progressed towards the horse with much force, unsure of its motive of being there. No sooner had I neared it that I felt a shooting pain pierce me through my back. I had been stabbed by some weapon of assault. I was furious at this deception. I went into a mad frenzy and tried hitting at the figure of the horse and the man with all the force I could gather despite this injury.
The injury by the lance was not just physical. I was injured emotionally too as I had been deceived into trusting humans. The horse appeared to be protected by some padding around its body so I tried getting to the foot of the horseman. The wicked guy had his foot hidden covered by a heavy metallic shield. I wasn’t prepared to give up on this fight and wanted revenge for my hurting back when once again the skirting guys prompted me to fight them.
I like a fool gave myself up to the incitement just to realize moments later that it was yet another trap laid upon me. The horses were now nowhere to be seen. They had exited the arena under the signal of the trumpets being played up there somewhere.
By now I had come to terms with the bleeding back and was ready for the fight.
Got back in form to face my challengers when a guy plunged towards me with his arms raised high. This was happening in such quick succession of my injury and before I knew it, the teasing game of capes resulted in the red and white banderillas inflicted upon my neck. My already injured neck was further weakened by the ridges of the muscles damaged by this attack. I was bleeding but There were no droplets of my blood on the sand as it was all getting soaked up by the banderillas.
My head movement was now getting unstable and I was losing my focus partially due to the pain and weakness but continued to put up the fight as the banderilleros continued inciting me with their flowy capes skirting them in different directions. I was now somewhat confused about the direction I should take but being a strong bull, I pursued towards one of them. My vision was getting blurry and I did not notice how another pair of banderillas was hooked upon my neck. I bellowed in anguish and thought of it to be the final injury to my spirit.

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I was proven wrong in my judgement once again. In my exhaustion I could sense more danger as suddenly I heard the human crowd cheering in excitement. I had by now wisely enough understood that the cheering was an indication of further humility and injustice for me by the human race.
I looked behind me and saw the jazzy attired matador flaring the cape in one hand while his other hand was behind him, as if he was hiding away something from my view. He angered me once again by hurling the skirting in inciting manner. I decided to thrust myself upon him like a raging storm. My effort at showing my might turned futile as he easily evaded me by a quick move. This act went on for another ten minutes and my exhaustion was very evident to the onlookers who were enjoying the trickster game by the matador. I wondered if I had any supporters in the hundreds of game watchers.
The game play was getting intense and each move was causing the hurt, the anger, the frustration and exhaustion to be enhanced further. The banderillas were by now heavier soaked in my blood and I guessed that my dark coat had red spots of drying up blood that had left my body week.
I was confident, very confident that my one mighty attack this once, will injure the matador and I shall taste my little victory. Alas! All my hopes were crumbled in a matter of just a few seconds when he thrust a sword onto the aorta of my heart, maneuvered in perfection, equally distanced between my shoulders. I was killed! Mercilessly! For no fault of mine. I was a mere object of fun, reared, fed, cared only to be killed publicly to please the human race.
I am now no longer in my Bull body, I have no form. I find myself floating in freedom and painless and I wonder if I should be thankful for this state of mine. I look down and find a pair of mules hooked on to something like a chariot. But the chariot seems not at all attractive. I can see so many things all together as if I am everywhere. How did that happen? Is that what death means? I am glad I found my vastness in dying. I am happy to be dead but am I really happy at the manner death was brought about at me? Too many questions and answers tend to work towards making me wise. Me? Wise? Who am I now? I am not in the Bull Body. So what is my identity?
I look down again and find the spectators in a compulsive applause. The trumpets making loud declaration of my death. The harnessed mules approach where my dead body lay uselessly and post attachment to the harness the dead Bull Body is dragged and paraded around the arena. I was now a trophy on display. The matador is being felicitated for his victory and I am thinking what if the tables turned and he was in my position some day.

 

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Sikiladi’s Sentiments:
This story is written bearing in mind the cruelty we inflict on animals at different times via various methods. The famous Bull Fighting Games in Spain earn lot of respect by the locals but no animal lover can tolerate such atrocious ways of killings for fun. I believe the practice is not as widespread as it used to be but Madrid and Seville and maybe a few other areas still earn a lot of revenue from these killings. It is a pity that we conduct and support such games.