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It looked like the squirrel didn’t stand a chance. The birds were all making their mark at the papaya tree though being very clannish about it.  They seemed to have declared it a no-squirrel zone. The overripe papayas were eagerly pecked at by the different birds in turn and partaken at leisure, with relish. Even the bat got its chance, swooping down to hang itself upside and nibbling on a juicy one.

The squirrel was up on the coconut tree trunk, looking down on all the activity, bushy tail whipping this way and that. Mera number kab ayega?  It’s high pitched voice pierced the ears of anyone within a dozen feet. The bushy tail was keeping perfect time with the rhythm of its call. I’m hungry, I’m hungry, I’m hungry. My turn, my turn, my turn. Yet, none at the papaya tree paid any attention to it’s agitated calls.


Even the most hungry birds cannot go on eating  indefinitely.  The space in the stomach, especially of birds, is small and finite. When that space is full and the feeling of being sated kicks in, one tends to forget quarrels, especially not letting the squirrel get close to the bounty. Hence, the birds who had their fill, simply flew off one by one, leaving the zone unattended.

That’s when the squirrel cautiously came down and climbed up the papaya tree. Of course, he tried his best to shake off any ‘tails’ (not its own, but those like in the thrillers one reads). Finally the underdog had his chance. Here’s the picture to prove it.


©Shail Mohan 2017

Prompt word: Underdog