Operation Protect Anura | Sunday Observer

Operation Protect Anura

Short Story


Little Anura was six days behind his first birthday. He was with his mother in his ‘Carry Cot’. She was busy with the household laundering, while keeping an eye on the unpredictable little Anura. Mother went to the rear verandah to get a basin and she slipped and fell. She struck her head on a stool and became unconscious.

The toddler sensed that something was wrong with his mother. He was thrilled as he was ‘Home alone’… a chance of a lifetime. But first to mother. So, like baby Hercules of yore, Anura began to crawl towards his mother, dragging the strapped ‘Carry cot’ along with him. There was a one-metre ledge between the verandah and the rear compound.

Little Anura was slowly heading towards the ledge. A lethal drop! There pet cat Kitty was happily basking in the sun. She took in the scene. Captain, the brown giant and Kitty's eternal foe was tied near the kennel. Blissfully asleep, on a mat, Kitty raced up to the roof and from there to the ceiling. Occupants Terry and mother Minnie fled, carrying their three children. Kitty approached them. It seemed like certain death of a happy family but then Kitty said, “Please stop, I won’t hurt you, I need your help, our little friend Anura is in danger. We must hurry, follow me, Anura’s mother is injured and only Anura is at home. Please come, we need Captain’s help." All raced up to Captain.

“Three little rats, Jerry, Speedy and Squeaky and Kitty too paying me a visit. It is unthinkable. There must be something terribly wrong or very important they want me to do for them.”

Kitty explained why they had come. “For little Anura, anything”, Captain wagged his tail and reclined on his mat. Jerry, Speedy and Squeaky got on to Captain’s neck and started to chew the collar round Captain’s neck. Leaving them there, Kitty ran back to Anura.

Little Anura stopped his Herculean task and was now watching the antics of Kitty. Delaying tactics in slowing down the boy from reaching the treacherous ledge. Captain charged in followed by Jerry, Speedy and Squeaky. Mother Minnie and Terry were watching “Operation Protect Anura” from a distance.

Captain pulled the carry cot and Anura deftly but gently back into the pantry. Anura was having the time of his life. Never had he seen rats. Today three of them were jumping all over, playing with Kitty. To Anura the three rats looked like toys. He was enjoying the circus.

Meanwhile Captain went up to the mother, sniffed, licked her hands and face, whined and dashed to their neighbour’s house. They were in very good terms with captain. Mrs. Perera, the lady of the house was chatting with another lady. Captain thought for a while. He then ran into the sitting room, grabbed the visitor’s handbag and umbrella with his mouth and dashed off.

“My goodness, what are you doing? Who untied you naughty Captain? Sheila must have forgotten to tie you. And where are you taking my friend’s handbag and umbrella?”

The two women ran behind Captain. He took an Olympic Jump over the boundary wall. Getting out of the premises had been easy. On to a flower pot rack, on the wall and then the neighbour’s compound. The place of landing was unknown on the return leap. Injured, he cried out in pain. The two women entered from the gate. They followed Captain’s whining. They were shocked. They saw Sheila on the floor. The dog had placed the umbrella and the handbag by her side. Unbelievable. They saw three rats beside Kitty and Captain. The rats ran away on seeing them. Mrs. Perera went in and took the baby into her arms. They took Sheila to the doctor and called Anura’s father. Sheila was not seriously injured and was all right. She was soon back at home. Captain limped up to her. Mrs. Perera told them about the heroic quadrupeds. Sheila and her husband embraced Captain and Kitty.

The neighbours swore that they saw Captain licking the three rats and Kitty had been seen licking the rats too.

Our heroes were the most honoured guests at little Anura’s first birthday. To Captain and Kitty their favourite delicacies. Lots of cheese and other rat goodies to their upper storey non paying tenants. To Sheila and family, they became their adorable neighbours.

An astrologer had walked into their neighbourhood. A very famous one. He had stood at their gate for some time. Smiled and walked away. When asked why, he had said with a smile. “This home does not require astrologers. All inmates in this house, including the animals are bound together. They are bound together with a string of gold called ‘Love’.