Baga lay as still as he could on the tree branch for fear of discovery by the tribesman who had just killed his father Imca. The tribesman was now looking around scanning the surroundings for any other villagers. He turned his gaze on all sides but failed to look above him in the tree. Ones he was satisfied that there was no one around, he proceeded in the direction of the village. Baga waited for a few minutes to ensure the tribesman and his troop was out of sight, he climbed down and rushed to see Imca. The tribesman had pulled out and taken the spear with him, which had caused an open wound and excessive loss of blood. Imca was dead.
Baga shook his father and kept pleading him to get up but he knew in his heart that his father was long gone. He didn’t know what to do, he felt all alone. He sat there clutching his father’s body, crying his eyes out. He knew there was no use of going to the village for help because the tribesman and his troop were headed towards the village earlier, which means the villagers would’ve either fled or would be killed by now, with all the supplies and valuables plundered by the troop.
So Baga sat at the same spot unable to move, shooing away the crows that tried to feast on Imca. HE sat there until his heart felt numb and his eyes felt dry. He sat there until the sun cast long shadows on the ground. Then, he slowly pulled himself up, dug a grave for his father using makeshift tools and buried his father.
Baga wandered the woods for the next few weeks like the ghost of the person that he used to be. He ate only when he could no longer supress his hunger and spent most of his time staring into nothing. He constantly thought about how unhelpful he was during the incident and how cruel and selfish life is. He wandered and pondered when one day he found his resilience and acceptance. He started focusing on the now and soon he forgot to think about the past and the incident became a memory. Baga moved on, taught himself new skills and embraced his solitude.
Until the day of the hunt, when he found himself crouching in the bushes with his arrow pointed at the leopard devouring its prey dead deer, while the fawn hid behind the tree to avoid the same fate. The leopard suddenly heard a ruffle and looked up from his feast to realise the presence of the fawn. The leopard then quickly moved towards the fawn, narrowly missing Baga’s arrow. It started sniffing the stunned fawn and pressed its face on the fawn’s. The fawn sensed its safety and started jumping around playfully. The leopard pressed its paw gently on the fawn and hugged it as if the fawn was its own cub.
Witnessing this, Baga realised that there isn’t a lack of compassion in this world, just that some of us have forgotten it. Baga’s eyes filled again, but this time with hope.