SHORT STORY: THE TOP VIEW – Kamlesh Tripathi


    Once in a jungle an astute eagle was perched on a tall tree and that too on its tallest branch. From there the bird was having a top view, watching a squirrel running all over the vicinity. The squirrel was climbing the trunk of the trees, running on its branches, then going down the tree trunk, and then climbing it again. Off and on it was also nibbling the fruits and leaves of the trees, and rest of the time it was running around aimlessly, so it appeared to the eagle. After having watched the squirrel for a while the eagle diverted his attention to a rat that was also moving there. The rat too, was sniffing, the trees and the bushes, performing, almost a similar drill like the squirrel. The intrigued eagle did not stop there. He then noticed a mole who was crawling on the ground trying to ferret some food for himself.

    Incidentally, there was also a handsome butterfly with colourful wings sitting there on the trunk of a close by tree observing the eagle, the squirrel, the rat and the mole with great interest. But he had not spoken a word until now.

    After watching the behaviour of these creatures for a while now, the eagle couldn’t hold himself back. He decided to hop down a couple of branches from the top of the tree to interact, especially, with the squirrel. So he began robustly.

    ‘Hey you … squirrel! I’ve been watching you here for a long time now. You’ve been running helter-skelter, all over the place. Can you tell me what for?’

    The surprised squirrel looked at the eagle, and said.

    ‘My dear eagle I have been running all over the place in search of food. While doing so I have also kept my caution. I have kept my eyes and ears open so that I am not attacked by any predator, and can also escape from the claws of my enemies and continue to live a happy life.’

    But the impatient eagle was not convinced with the squirrel’s answer. He pondered for some time and then decided to ask others there, the same question. So he questioned the rat and the mole in a similar manner. But they too gave him a similar reply that they were running around for food, and side by side, they were also keeping an eye on their predators.

    The eagle was sad at the plight of these tiny ground creatures. He then focussed his attention back to the squirrel and asked him.

    ‘Squirrel—squirrel! Does it take so much of time and effort for you to search for food, and ensure your safety?’

    ‘The squirrel replied. ‘Yes brother eagle. It does take me so much time and effort to ensure my safety and satisfy my hunger. But what about you? What do you do for your hunger, and how do you escape from your killers?’

    The eagle smirked. He looked at the squirrel directly. He also looked at the other two obliquely, the rat and the mole, who too, had joined the conversation by now, and said.

    ‘You see my dear minnows. I’m too powerful for my adversaries. They cannot attack me. I’m also way above your status, because I can fly high, and I have the top view of everything.

    The butterfly who was merrily eavesdropping on their conversation from the trunk of the close by tree, cut-in and said.

   ‘You are right my dear eagle it is only the top view that makes all the difference. For doing well in life a top view of anything and everything is essential. God also enjoys the top view of his world from the heaven from where he showers his Daya-Drishti, his blessings on the people he likes.  People who have the top view of things generally do well in life like you and me, than those, who only have the ground view like the squirrel, the rat and the mole. But you can only have the top view if you rise in life.’

    ‘You are absolutely right my dear butterfly. When I climb a tree I do get a better view of what all lies on the ground and where all I can get my food and where all my enemies are.’ The squirrel appreciated the butterfly’s viewpoint.

    ‘So then, why do you climb down, from the trees, at all? Why don’t you live there only?’ The eagle asked the squirrel. The squirrel halted for a moment and then said.

    ‘To action what I see from the top.’

    Moral of the story: No matter at what level you are, try and rise higher to have a top view, which is always a better view. But never forget the ground view for that is where all the action is.

Written by Kamlesh Tripathi



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