The Eagle and The Mice
by Anupama Chingangbam
The four pink mice lay there in the scorching sun, their entrails showing through their thin skin. Aijaz watched from the distance behind a pile of rocks which was once the house of his friend Hamid.
Hamid was dead and so was his family. A drone had attacked their house one summer morning. Aijaz was lucky. His carpenter father had lost only his hands and his mother only one eye and two grown up daughters.
Sweat poured down his sun burnt neck as he eagerly waited for the eagle to swoop down and grab the mice. His grandfather used to look at the sky for rain, his father for bombs and now he was waiting for the eagle. He had dug out the mice from the ruined library of Chacha Ahmad. He used to play there with Hamid regardless of Chacha’s constant scolding. He prized the leather bound books more than anything. Now all was gone, the books, the library, Hamid, Chacha, even the village. The eagle had been circling round for quite a time now. Aijaz wanted to see the eagle in action and he had ignored the calls of his mother for the past twenty minutes.
A slap in the back of his neck caught him by surprise and when he looked behind he was shocked for a moment. But it was only his mother with one eye missing. He reluctantly went with his mother for lunch.
The eagle swooped down.
(*Chacha is uncle in Urdu.)
(Anupama is a student of literature and writes her blog at www.anupamachingangbam.sulekha.com.)