Short Stories (Fiction)

Behind the bars

A human finds a talking lion in a zoo. He is amused and engages it for a conversation

Human: You may be the king of the jungle. But we humans rule the planet. Wouldn’t you agree?

Lion: Depends on how you look at it.

Human: Ha, an arguing lion! Remember that you are behind the bars!

Lion: You humans have the tendency to divert the topic, especially when you are afraid of losing an argument!

Do you know how many senses we have? Do you know how clever we are? That partly explains why we are free and you are not!

Lion: Let us come to my freedom later. How do you say you are free?

Human: What a silly question! We have a lot of freedom. Freedom of expression for example….

Lion: Freedom of expression is it? If you feel that your boss is talking nonsense can you tell him as much and ask him to shut up?

Human: That may not be a practical….

Lion: Can you say that to your wife?

Human: That is totally impractical!

Lion: To your five year kid at least?

Human: Oh no! At least in the other two cases, I may not get beaten up!

Lion: What other freedom do you have?

Human: We have freedom of choice. For example, we can do any job that we like….

Lion: I see. But you do not have the freedom to not work at all.

Human: How can you not work at all? You need to eat, have a shelter, buy medicines – do all that stuff, right?

Lion: Do you think I don’t eat, I don’t have a shelter, I don’t get medicines? Do you think I work to get all that? You don’t even seem to have the freedom that I do, in this matter!

Human: That’s because we are feeding you, we are giving you a shelter, we are….

Lion: Exactly. How stupid!

Human: Well you can’t beat us in this. We have intellectual freedom. We can acquire knowledge, grow our intellect and hence are enlightened beings.

Lion: And what exactly do you do with all that intelligence and enlightenment? Develop nuclear weapons, long range missiles and firearms to kill each other? Have you ever seen a lion killing another lion? But you kill each other. You kill other animals, you destroy forests, you pollute the environment, increase global warming and you claim you are intelligent! Do you think intelligent creatures will do all these things?

Human: At least, we can move freely outside. You are inside the cage. You are behind the bars!

Lion: In my point of view, even you humans are behind the bars. It actually looks like that from inside here! If you choose to call this a prison, then even you are in one – but slightly larger, that’s all! Even though your prison spans a huge geographical area, you have infinitesimally much lesser freedom than me!

Human: I can even shoot you right now!

Lion: You can’t. Do you know the procedure to own a pistol and get a license for it? Even if you manage that, do you know what will happen if you shoot a lion which is locked inside a cage? Haven’t you heard of the Protection of Endangered Species Wildlife act?

Destination Infinity

PS: Stop being cruel to animals 😉 BTW, humans are also animals 😛

You could visit the Quotations and Humour section of this blog for more such articles.
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  • axinia

    this is an exellent conversation! well done…
    the arguments are right and the thought is deep. thanks!

    the only thing which I can add – I noticed it especially here in the West that people who fight for animals rights are such human-haters…:(

  • vishesh unni raghuna

    lol 🙂 nice to read someone else do this and nice to see people aren't saying things like oh…you talk to animals and inanimate objects?

    Ya well the mood in which I am right now , I might kill the lion by just talking…

  • Amit

    Humans are the dumbest of all species and would be a reason for the destruction for Earth. Period.
    I think whenever God is in a mood to destroy a planet, he plants an intelligent specie on it. 🙂

    • Destination Infinity

      I am actually planning to go to a prison (by committing some silly fraud) when I am around 60 years. That's the only way I am going to write an autobiography! Constrained freedom is an apt word.

      Destination Infinity

    • Destination Infinity

      Sometimes I wonder if both pets and humans require all the luxury they claim to enjoy! A dog might be more happy running in a park than sleeping in AC in the most luxurious bed! A human mind is more complex, though!

      Destination Infinity

    • Destination Infinity

      I read that one, you put in animals in that post as an indirect reference to the fact that humans are also animals, didn't you? 🙂 Strangely, even I am categorising this post in the humour section!

      Destination Infinity

  • Indian Homemaker

    I just love this post.
    I anyway hate the idea of locking up animals so we can watch them, even if we need to put them in shelter for some reason at least the enclosures should be close to their natural habitat, and never all alone.

    I have read of how zoo animals hurt themselves in frustration the way abused children do.

    Loved it when the Lion asks what humans have done with all the intelligence we take pride in.

    • Destination Infinity

      We have even tried to create natural conservation parks. But actually, after the creation of such parks, the no of lions for example, has come down! mostly because of poaching. It is better to leave animals in the wild, and it is better to leave some wild space as well!

      Destination Infinity

  • hitchwriter

    I have always felt ashamed that we are the worst spieces on the planet.. we have cut trees.. we evolved so we ensured all others stopped evolving… we infact made them extinct…

    I loved this post… !!!

    and ur on my blog roll now…

    the animals are so much superior… and better… !!

    • Destination Infinity

      I don't think we have even evolved! In my opinion, the people who lived during the vedic times in India, were far superior than us. The animals are just straight forward. If they are hungry, they search for food and eat it. If they are not, they just relax. In contrast, compare how much humans have complicated their lives!

      Destination Infinity

  • Kislay Chandra

    Brilliant . I cannot tell you how much I could relate to this post . Just to share some similar thoughts , I am pasting a para from my post , "Things that make me emotional" .

    Number 16. Humanity. Yes. We, People, the homosapiens, this species make me emotional and angry. "Oooo, we are humans, we cook our food, and sleep on beds, live in houses, use technology at the drop of a hat and speak intelligible languages. We have a societal structure and we are smart. And that makes us better than the rest of species. We are so precious. " . And yet we kill, we murder, we never run out of reasons to fight over, are raping this planet every instance of our existence. Yes, we are intelligent, but what the fuck is that good for? Is our evolution and development in sync with our natural environment? How much of our technology is green? Our pretence of being better than the so called lesser species is farcical, and we should not be allowed to compare the lesser of our own species to animals. You know, phrases like "worse than an animal" or "animal like behaviour”. Animals are way better than us. I guess it is the curse of having a much more evolved brain. It should come with a statutory warning "The actions undertaken by the individual under the influence of this organ may be injurious to the planet”.

    And as one matrix fan to another , remember what Agent Smith said to Morpheus , the dialogue about Humans being a virus . If you have time , read another post I wrote , "Life after People" . 🙂

    • Destination Infinity

      My, you are almost echoing my mind! Including the liking for the idea for humans being virus! I also accept this – //It is the curse of having a much more evolved brain//. In fact, just because we have a superior brain doesn't mean that all our actions are unquestionable and better! There are two sides to any coin. Remember superman – With great power comes great responsibility. But we humans attain great power to abuse our responsibilities!! And are adamantly blind about that.

      Destination Infinity

  • Indyeah

    loved this post..Human beings suck as a species…..we cant live without passing judgements…without the divides of 'them' vs 'us' ….it is all hypocritical….
    athiest, agnostic, religious, not religious, this that or any other..there are wayy too many categories..and we are all judging..even the ones who claim to be more liberal…

    freedom?thats just a myth…

    putting you on my blogroll now:)

  • Destination Infinity

    Hypocrisy, combined with wishful thinking totally blinds us from the reality. We will pay for all this. i don't even want to talk of freedom which we are supposed to have by default! But I still think, the design of the world is intricately beautiful and just. Every human will have their day.

    Destination Infinity

  • Nancy

    Superb…tho I didnt know u had written this until I read the comments:-)).

    I can only assume how much thought went into the making of this post!!!!!

  • sandhya

    I don't know how I missed reading this post. Just now read IHM's blog and came here. I wrote a comment in her post. That applies here too. My family are animal lovers. We just cannot tolerate anyone hurting any animal or bird. We never go to the zoos and no circus also, for a long time now.

    This conversation between animal and human, is very good. Esp. the last line 'humans are also animals' is superb.

    Thanks for a good read.

    • Destination Infinity

      Is it not true? Humans have lived for a relatively shorter time than most of the animals and even insects like cockroaches. I think it will be a short stint for humans in this planet if things go on like this. I just hope that the planet would be left out at least for other species.

      Destination Infinity

  • Amit

    Shades of "Ishmael" (Daniel Quinn) in that conversation. 🙂

    Here's a statement from that book (a gorilla thinking): "With man gone, will there be hope for me?"

    There are two ways to interpret it. 🙂

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