Thursday, 26 July 2012

Napoleon and His Family in the Land of Lilliputians

As Napoleon the rooster travelled in the white Suzuki pickup van that was taking him to the Land of Lilliputians, he wondered.

Yesterday, he along with the five hens who now cackled in the van were put in a separate basket.  They were sold to the Lilliputians.

Napoleon looked at the five hens who were now under his guardianship. “What a diversified lot,” he thought.

Somebody cackled in soft purring tones. He knew it must be Chandni, the eldest, the prettiest of the hens. She was snowy white with black dots.  Yes, there she was, sitting snugly near the window; oblivious to the world around her except the warm egg which she had just laid. Chandni was good at it: laying eggs day after day.

“The ever maternal Chandni,” thought Napoleon and smiled indulgently at her.

However, at times it irritated him that Chandi treated her eggs as if they merited a pride of performance award.

“As if this is the only act of creativity in the world! But then this is a hen’s lot. What else can a hen do?” He thought and looked at the hen standing near the window, peering outside. It was Kayseria.

He sighed. The spikes of his red comb straightened, and his wattle wiggled with worry as he looked at her. Kayseria was the youngest. As usual, she was lost in thought, thinking, he was sure, un-hen-like thoughts.

“What good is a hen who acts like a philosopher? As if people need deductive logic instead of fried eggs for breakfast!”

He remembered the day when Kayseria had said, “I am not going to lay eggs when I grow up. Why should I sit, look stupid and lay eggs? Why can’t you lay eggs?”

Napoleon’s wattle had quivered with anger at the time but he had controlled himself.

However, he was fond of Kayseria and wanted to protect her from her own thoughts. He knew humans wouldn’t be very kind to a hen who thought too much. They already had a whole lot of past and present philosophers to contend with. Moreover, a thinking hen can alter the shape of their breakfast.

Another hen came and sat near Kayseria. It was Layzee baysee. She looked so much like Kayseria. Both had golden brown feathers though Kayseria’s tail feathers were a shade lighter. But Layzee bayzee didn’t have the lost-in-thought look of Kayseria and she was always sitting and resting. She was so lazy that if she could she would have asked someone else to lay eggs for her.

The van stopped at traffic lights. Napoleon noticed the hen who seemed excited and was trying to somehow jump outside. He looked out. Ah! there it was: the cause of excitement. A row of trees lined the roadside and Goatia, the excited hen, had seen it.

“What do you make of a hen who thinks she is a goat?” Napoleon thought exasperatedly.

Goatia was fond of eating grass, leaves, branches, flowers, in fact anything which grew on earth and was green.

“Someday Goatia is going to lay apples, or any other fruit or vegetable for that matter, instead of eggs.” He said to himself and dreaded the day when it would actually happen.  

He looked at Chandni and spotted the hen who was greedily eyeing Chandni’s egg. It was Selfishia. She was Goatia’s look- alike but some of her neck feathers were missing. She was one of the most selfish hens Napoleon had ever seen. She ate her own eggs and was always on a look out for eggs by other hens.

Napoleon quickly strutted toward her and shooed her away. He wanted the van driver to have the egg.

As Selfishia looked at him shiftily and turned away, the van stopped. They were in the Land of Lilliputians.

Napoleon raised his neck, his comb straightened, his wattle shook and he crowed loud and long: Koo-Karaaa-Karoooooon.