The three heroes | Page 2 | Sunday Observer
Short Story

The three heroes

Sumanawathi was weaving cadjan to re-thatch their home. Sedaris was working in their chena. Her two little children were on a rickety tricycle. “Look”! said one, "Look, that big rat snake is trying to swallow that rat. Please rat snake don’t kill that rat. Killing is bad. Let her go. Amma said that she has small baby rats on the roof. Please, good rat snake."

The snake felt sorry.

She literally vomited that rat out. "Thank you Sir, you saved my life and those of my babies. Thank you, you see, we are made to run after you people. Our name indicates that. Actually you should thank those two small humans. Go, look after your babies."

He froze. Goodness! Those little ones are heading straight to the water hole.

It is very muddy, and the deep end is full of water Hyacinth. We must help them”. Together, they sped to the spot. They saw a giant water monitor. They told him about the children. “We must help them”. The water monitor wagged its tail, raised its head and shot out its long tongue. The rat and the rat snake told him, how they became friends.

The giant quadruped reptile smiled. “To help them, to help that family, I am ready to give my life,” “Quick let’s go, but before that, a story."

"Beautiful family, they love animals and birds. Some months back, my snout got stuck in a salmon tin, I could not get it out. The more I tried, the more it went into my snout? I was in terrible pain. My eyes were swollen. I could not eat. I was going to die! I dragged myself on to land. Was basking in the sun.

The father of the children saw me and called his wife. "Look!, our Kabararala is in trouble. We must do something. Quickly get some thick material. She was back with an old blanket. Their little ones were watching.”

"We must get that tin out now. Don’t be scared. He knows that we are trying to help him." He held me tightly by my hind limbs and abdomen.

I lay still. Their mother pulled the tin out. Slowly, gently and out it came. I was happy. They were smiling”.

"He is injured, scratches all over the snout. She ran in to the house, brought some medicine. The father applied it on my face. She gave me some pieces of chicken and fish. How I love that family.

My friends decided never, to hurt their poultry, cats and dogs. In fact we guard their home”. The rat and the rat snake too said they too would not cause any trouble to the family. Others too would be told about it. "Now, said the gentle monitor, let us act fast”. Yes! The two cyclists were happily pedalling towards catastrophe!

The three new friends raced behind the children. The water monitor wobbled fast. Overtook the cyclists and blocked their path. The tricycle ran over him. It toppled in to a side. The children screamed. Sumanawathi ran towards them with a cry. Her husband heard her shouts and came running. The mother cuddled the children.

Our hero was lying on his back. Unbelievable, the rat snake and the rat were on him, looking at Sumanawathi. Suddenly she was brave, she stroked the abdomen of the upturned monitor. His friends moved away. Watching she carried the children home.

Sedaris and his friends carried Kabararala to their house. The parents and children were sobbing. Sediris brought the medical practitioner who nearly fainted when the doctor saw who the patient was. He called his friend, the veterinary doctor. "I have treated persons bitten by water monitors. But this is unthinkable." Yes, said the veterinary doctor.

This is the first and may be the last time I am going to treat an ailing water monitor.” His hind limb is fractured.

The Kabararala recovered. The story spread around. Many affluent persons and animal lovers visited Sediris and helped them to live happily by giving financial assistance. A grateful water monitor, a rat and a rat snake became family friends of a beautiful family!