The Saurian Tale
In an unknown time, on a beautiful summer afternoon, in a land not yet named by humans, there was this dense forest. This forest was home to many creatures, of different sizes and different features, not many that continue to exist now in our time period and many creatures from our present did not exist back then. Amidst this relatively unknown flora and fauna, there lived a creature that was similar to the modern lizard in a lot of ways. Scaly, slimy skinned, with large yellow eyes, wonderful green, yellow and brown texture, long tail, pointy head, long tongue and everything that a modern lizard had, but still different in a lot of ways from the lizards of the present. So we might as well call them lizards. There were many such lizards in that part of the forest, but our focus is on one particular lizard, a female one...
In the midst of some dense bushes, on a muddy patch of ground, there was this hole, a lizard’s nest. Inside this hole one could see a beautiful mother lizard, surrounded by around a dozen odd eggs of hers, waiting for a miraculous event to happen. Like a pearl inside a clam, these pearls had something much more valuable in them. They had life...Younger lizards that couldn’t wait to come out. It was just about time for them to come out of those little oval orbs and look around at the more spacious, all providing, spherical orb called earth, where they were to live the rest of their life in.
Unlike the relatively safer shells they were in all this time, the outer world was full of danger. When on the inside of the egg, they were still in as much danger as they would be when they got out, but they had no idea what sort of danger they were in then. Their vision of the world was obstructed by the shell they were in and as long as they did not get to see the dangers around them, they were to believe they were safe. Now, that obstruction was about to be lifted and they were to face their real domain. It was true that nothing in life was frightful till one actually saw something go wrong for the very first time. From then on, even if life was relatively smooth and peaceful, the being that had gone through that one bad, dangerous situation, was to remain fearful that it might happen all over again. That’s just how things were in nature. The young lizards were to soon come out and face their first real danger.
Even though there were a billion frightful and dangerous things on the outside, there were also a billion wonderful, beautiful and amazing things waiting for them.
As time went by, one egg after another began to break open and from within came creatures, much more gorgeous than the mother, who had been waiting eagerly for her off springs, to step out. She had taken great care to protect them from larger predators roaming around in the region and she had been somewhat successful most of the times, in defending her eggs. She had however lost three eggs on three different occasions, when a group of swift moving smaller predators, lizards of a different variety of course, overpowered her and skilfully dragged out of the hole, one egg, each day, for their dinner. She had been anxious ever since and had been keeping a keen eye for danger. Thankfully they had found some other sumptuous meal, ruining some other family of primitive creatures.
The mother lizard had no time to be worried about other animals as she had to take care of her own family. She sat there and was looking forward for the wonderful event to happen...
First to come out was this gorgeous baby lizard, who had this amazing grey skin, something that he had gotten from his father’s side. This lizard was so grey, that he could not be identified from the surroundings, if he was on any of the grey rocks that were found in abundance, all over the forest. This was a gift and a curse for the little fellow. Why? Well one has to wait for the story to move on a little more.
Then came a lizard with a slightly rounded head and she sure was an amusement to watch, as round heads were unusual in that lizard’s family. Not many in the mother lizard’s family had a round headed daughter in at least five years and five years was a long time in a lizard’s life.
A lizard with perhaps the longest tail, among the lot, came out from one egg. How could one say that particular lizard had the longest tail? Still many lizards were to come out and they too could have similar lengthy tails, right? Well this baby lizard’s tail was just too long... longest the mother lizard had ever seen and she was sure that there could be no lizard in her family or in the entire forest with that long a tail.
Next came, a couple of lizards from their respective eggs with nothing special or odd about their looks, but something very wrong about their character, which the mother did know of yet. She was soon to find out in the following days and it was definitely not going to be a happy discovery for her.
The very next lizard to come out seemed to already have very long, hard and sharp claws. The mother herself was considered to be gifted with some strong natural swords to combat predators. As soon as she saw one of her babies coming out with them, she was proud and confident that her daughter too would be quite formidable against the evil “lizard-eaters”.
Next to arrive was this one lizard who, from the outside, seemed very normal, till he opened his eerie pair of grey eyes. Lizards of that kind always had yellow eyes and any other colour meant that they lacked the power to see anything, according to the lizards of that time. But this lizard was neither destitute of vision nor disabled in any other manner. In fact he had a superior sight than any of his siblings and could even warn of predators arriving from miles away.
This, the mother found out later and when she came to know of it, she was the happiest lizard there was. There were two reasons for her delight, one was that her child was not really blind as she had thought him to be at first and that they could have an early warning in case of any danger approaching, because of the lizard’s superior sight.
The eighth lizard, to come out, was the most important to our story. Well one could clearly say that it was based on her life that the entire tale was to develop. She had absolutely no gifts like her fellow siblings, physically and did not carry anything foul on the inside like the other two simpler, seemingly normal siblings she had. She however was blessed with an image similar to that of her mother. She was like a mirror to the mother lizard...a mirror that showed the mother lizard’s past. She seemed exactly the way the mother had been, when she had been much younger. This lizard was soft, gentle and of kind nature. She was ninety percent close to being a perfect creature. But the remaining ten percent defect she had, was to make her life miserable.
There can be no perfect story with a perfect character, could it?
The ninth lizard to come out was also a girl, but she was a very tiny girl, tiny, for even a baby lizard. She was not even half the size of her fellow brothers and sisters and being small meant she was to be the object of mockery in her family. A good family wouldn’t do such a thing and the mother lizard did want a good family. But the younger lizards lacked wisdom and it was very natural for them to target the smallest member of the family and use her as the laughing stock in the nest. But that happened later. Let us first get introduced to the remaining lizards that are waiting to get introduced.
The tenth lizard to come out did not in any way bring joy to the mother lizard. The poor fellow had only three legs and where there was supposed to be a fourth leg, there was just a tiny extended piece of muscle, which seemed to have no sensation at all. The mother was very disheartened that her latest child could not live a happy life, as a lack of limb meant that the little fellow had lesser chances of surviving in the wild. He can’t hunt for food nor escape from creatures coming to devour him, on time. The mother said to herself that she needed to be close to the little one to help him, throughout his life. She felt that she was needed to protect him. But who was there to protect her in the first place, as fate had other plans.
The eleventh egg to break open brought some elation for the mother as this baby seemed to be the largest of them all. He was the biggest baby, the mother had ever seen and she had seen a lot of young lizards coming out from eggs belonging to her friends and neighbours, when she had been a younger lizard. This little fellow was the chubbiest and the cutest looking of the lot. The mother was really glad that the entire process was almost done. There was just this one egg to break open and she sat there waiting for the final member of the family to come out. The lizards that had come out by then, were now up and crying for food. The mother had already stocked up all the food they would want for at least a week. Lizards did have high metabolism and these babies were eager to gulp down anything that the mother can offer. The mother was ready for them with a whole lot of tiny fruits, leaves, worms, insects stored in her large, deep nest and the little babies were fed with them one by one.
The babies kept eating and the mother kept feeding them, all the while keeping her eyes on the solitary egg that was still to break open. Everyone associated a fat creature with food and expected it to eat a lot more than the normal, average sized creatures. Same was thought by the mother lizard, but to her surprise the fat baby lizard ate very little, while the tiniest lizard baby ate the most. This made the mother feel that the fat lizard would eventually slim down, while the tiny lizard would over time grow up. But she was to find out in due course that logic had no place in nature, as the tiny lizard, despite eating a lot, never grew big and the big lizard, despite eating less, never got thin. It was a great puzzle for the mother and the fellow lizards.
Time kept passing and the babies kept masticating. The baby lizards did only two things, they ate and they slept and they kept doing the same over and over again. Days went by and the mother was still waiting for the last egg to hatch. But it never did and eventually the egg began to rot. The mother understood that there was going to be no child from that egg and it was about time she accepted that fact. She was deeply grieved by her loss, but there was nothing she could do about it. She had tried hard and defended that egg from the predators. And she had done her bit to keep the eggs warm and safe from rain, storm and the cold from the outside. There was nothing else she could do. The shell, inside which the baby lizard was to have grown, turned out to be the baby’s coffin. The mother had to keep her misery to herself and she got rid of the rotten egg, one night, when the other baby lizards were asleep. Then she spent the entire night weeping.
The very next day, the baby lizards kept asking their mother about their youngest brother or sister, who should have arrived by then. The mother did not have any answer for them and did not want to tell them that he or she was dead even before he/she could come out of the egg. So she made up a story.
“Your Aunt Lori is without a baby and she wanted one. She was really sad that she did not have anyone for herself, so I had to give one of my babies to her.”
Aunt Lori? We name lizards? Well we can’t call the lizards, fat one, small one, long nails and such each time, could we? If we are to name baby lizards, might as well name them all. Off to the story now.
“You gave her just like that? But it was your child,” asked Clawie, the one with the long nails.
“It was our brother” said Longtail, the one with the long tail...duh!
“Sister, you mean” said Tiny, the smallest lizard.
“Was it a brother or sister?” asked grey eyes, the one with the strange eyes.
“Uhm...it was a...boy...yes, it was a brother” lied Mamaliz.
“Where is he now?” asked Moonie, the lizard with the round head.
“He and Aunt Lori have moved to the lands beyond the hill” said Mamaliz, pointing to a large hill in a distance.
“Grey eyes, can you see anything over there?” asked Trojamb, the three legged lizard.
“Well I could see the hill and a few bushes, but nothing beyond that” said Grey eyes.
“I can see absolutely nothing” said Pudgyie, the fat one.
“Wouldn’t he feel awful, without us?” asked Tessie, the one that resembled the mother lizard.
“He would be a little disheartened, yes...but Aunt Lori will take good care of him,” said Mother lizard, feeling a bit guilty of lying to her children and lugubrious, thinking how wonderful it would have been if the little fellow had been alive and was indeed with a real aunt Lori. She would have at least been happy that he was living safely somewhere, even if he wasn’t with them. She did not even know if it was a boy or girl, the mother lizard just said the first thing that came to her mind. She would have loved a baby girl just as much. There was no use thinking about that now as she wasn’t to have that baby. He or she wasn’t going to be there for her anymore. But the story she made up about the lizard and Aunt Lori was certainly to be there for a long time and it certainly was to change the life of at least one of her children...