An Animal Saint - Poem by santhana louis
AN ANIMAL SAINT
Of all the domestic animals
most sinned, appears to be the ‘Donkey'
will any one of us love to have one
as a proud pet, or dare to rear
a pair of donkeys at home!
very unfortunate discrimination, for ages, indeed.
we scold our children in the name of donkey
and easily say ‘I get you two donkeys for you to graze'
and shout often ‘4 times the donkey's age, still you an idiot'
unmindful of the donkeys' intellectual level or its longevity issues
those curses we hear, in plenty, daily in every houses
and ‘donkey' is the most uttered word from the learned teachers
in case of political unrest, the donkey walks first
with the caricature of the leader being hated
some of our idle elders must have done delicate research
with donkey's broad nose, before finally declaring
that ‘a donkey doesn't know camphor's incense'
may be because, the donkeys never found any role of praise
in our puranas, hithikhas, epics, or in ancient brochures
except, we know, it is a working member for the launderers folk
luggage-carrier in the hilly, difficult terrain, and for army's uses
and carrying pilgrims in narrow foot-paths, in slippery hillsides
one blessed donkey carried the Holy Family, to Egypt in Biblical times
as far I understand, they are poorly fed, no special feed
no regular bath nor any record of veterinary care
very widely harassed, beaten, tails misused, body painted
in villages, a culprit is paraded on its back, if caught red-handed
much worse is the case of sick, invalid, pregnant and old
left on the road to fend for themselves in dust, rain, hot and cold
in the land of dharma and benevolence, one ‘jeevan' in total neglect
even on Pongal days, donkeys have no place, such is our despise
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