Hear You Our Pleas!

Submitted into Contest #243 in response to: Write a story from the point of view of a non-human character.... view prompt


Fiction Urban Fantasy Drama



‘Rogue.’ That is what we are called! I am not proud to say that I killed a man. Ever since, people have been staging protests to not just tranquilize me but also to shoot me. Before you judge me and others of my ilk, please do hear my version of the story.

 All I was trying to do on that fateful day was to eat. For that matter, we all are trying our best to find food to eat and just to put our head down and survive. We need 149 and 169 kg (330-375 lb.) of vegetation daily but what do we get?

Did you know that the world has lost 1/3rd of its forest area to development, development and more development? Forests are taken away to logging, converting forest area to agriculture to feed the teaming millions of human beings, urbanization, and infrastructure development like the roads. The so-called elephant corridors are often taken away by those who want to have a retreat amidst nature!  It also came to my rather large ears that in the last 40 years, paper usage has surged by 400%, resulting in the daily felling of over two million trees to meet global paper consumption needs.

Now, let me speak about what is happening in own backyard. India has lost 384,000 hectares of forests between 1990 and 2000. If the report has to be believed, the figure rose to 668,400 hectares between 2015 and 2020.

So, coming back to us. We are forced to go further and further, walk a long way for our homes are being taken by you humans. It had always been flight or fight when it comes to human-animal conflict. For we cannot meet you at the table to discuss and come to a consensus. We are forced to run to protect our tusks or struggle for our guts. Despite chasing us off our comfort zone, or indulging in poaching activities for some dirty lucre, you, human beings don’t call yourselves rogue!

We are kept tethered in temples, in zoos, for amusing you lot. It is not just us elephants facing this issue. Most animals are facing this threat from human race. Monkeys are parched and they in turn enter your homes and the headline reads, 'Monkey menace.' Naturally, it can be considered a threat when you come out of your natural surroundings. And who are to be blamed here? Who are responsible for this global heat? Everything bottles down to your greed and not having the common sense to keep in mind the ecological balance that the good God gave to all of us.

And when we fight back, the furor starts. A few days ago, there was a news report about a man who was mauled by a lion and it made international news. And pray, what did he do? Jumped into the king of the jungle’s enclosure and took a bloody ‘selfie!’ The temerity. As if keeping us in a zoo to have people coming in to ogle at us isn’t bad enough!

First, you take away the right of the lion to hunt and live amidst its natural habitat. But then you emasculate it by keeping it in a carefully planned man-made dens! To add insult to injury you feed all of us at regular intervals rather than allow us to hunt or graze thus taking away from us one other of our life skills. Can you blame him for mauling when someone got too close to him without touching first base? He didn’t even pay heed to the notice on the enclosure that said in bold print, “Keep out!”

By the way, what is this fixation your human kind have for your cameras? One thing we animals have noticed and laugh about is the great need you guys seem to have is to take photos for posterity rather than living for now.

I know I am digressing quite a bit. But how then, can we be heard?

 Now, coming back to why I killed the man. I was grazing. I really needed food. Finding food is getting to be quite a herculean task. I had traveled across the state in search of food. Just to remind you, we are the mildest of the lot, despite our size. I guess it is the same about most species. We eat when hungry and even for those carnivorous animals, they kill only if they are hungry and not to hoard, unlike you guys.

 So, here I was munching away quite in a state of bliss and then suddenly, a piercing sound comes out of the four-wheel beast that emits toxic vapor. That is when I notice this two-legged idiot coming too close trying to smile at something in his hand.  Hearing the sound, I was in equal measures infuriated and scared and in no time, I apparently trampled that silly goose to death. I would honestly say here, ‘the case of natural selection!’

And now I hear people are staging protests. And I am left wondering why? What are they protesting for? For ensuring that we don’t live on this earth? They come into our space and are angry because we want the same space? I agree that we look quite threatening when we come in groups. I agree that we cannot walk without trampling whatever in on our paths. I guess from the farmers’ angle, that losing livelihood must be pinching them hard. We are a very intelligent species but we cannot rationalize and hence we react to situations.

But tell me, sir, when human beings face famine or drought, do you behave in a more sensible manner than we? When the pandemic stuck, I heard things flew off the shelves in the supermarkets and people kept hoarding leaving very less behind for others like them. I think that is the main issue here. I am quoting someone great here when I say, ‘There is enough for all our needs and not for our greed.’

When we come in groups, they say we come to attack and when they gather in groups, they come to protect. What hypocrisy! I guess that we too sometimes get tired of the constant ‘flight’ and sometimes we ‘fight’ back.

My ilk has more than halved between 2017 and 2023 in the state which was considered a haven for us. The quest for land by an increasing human population throughout the Indian elephant's habitat is leaving little room for them.  If anything has to be blamed, it is the encroachment into the protected areas. Most of the time, these infringements are illegal.

The few good people who call themselves environmental activists would agree with us that all these does not speak well for our species which is less than 30,000 at present. We are already endangered and if you lose us all, even God can’t save you from the heat as the ecosystems would crumble. If you don’t believe me, well, Google!

Now, tell me Sir; pray, what is our fault in all these?

Yours sincerely,


The oldest member from the Land of Elephants

March 30, 2024 01:46

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Sudha Viswanath
18:11 Mar 30, 2024

You have rightly brought out the fact that human beings have encroached upon areas where animals could live and feed, and then the poor deprived animals are left to fend for themselves. Very well written.


02:08 Mar 31, 2024

Yes. Indeed they are deprived. Thank you for stopping by


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Ratna Prabha
16:17 Mar 30, 2024

Lovely story! We have a lot to learn from these beautiful, gentle creatures.


02:07 Mar 31, 2024

Thank you so much


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