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Become - contd

by Sunil Sharma
(Mumbai, India)

The first page of the story


Next three days were challenging.
Ovid convened meetings with the City Council and explained the agenda for a humane city.
---Free all the animals, if you wish you to recover your human form.
---But the animals here are all free. The mayor exclaimed.
The women members said firmly, No, they are NOT. Please, free the pets.
The Council approved.
Treat the strays with respect and dignity, Ovid declared.
They approved.
Adopt the abandoned horses, cows and donkeys and elephants. Feed them. Take care of them in their old age.
The Council approved.
---Close down the zoos. Rehabilitate the animals. Ovid commanded.
This too was approved hastily by the Council.
Third day, the dinjj came and told Ovid, Good job! Now, you all can return to your human forms.
They became humans again!
The city learned to respect the animals and not treat them as inferior or threats.
The zoo animals were rehabilitated in a big natural park without enclosures. Dogs were no longer leashed or muzzled.
Poaching stopped.
Trade in animals was declared illegal and offenders were given life terms, serving the wild life sanctuaries as wardens. The poachers were reformed and employed as guides in the animal reserves, outside the city. Trees were not cut.
Even Corona was no longer a threat.
People behaved responsibly. A vaccine was on the way.
One day, the Dijnn asked Ovid, You want to be an ad-hoc leopard?
Ovid smiled: No, friend. Let a leopard a leopard. And I will remain what I am. I respect the leopard for what he is and thank God for creating such a diversified world, where all of us can co-exist and live an interdependent existence, in harmony and respect for these wonderful creatures of God.

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