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THE GRASS EATING TIGER (OT Y?YEN KAPLAN)

HE GRASS EATING TIGER

The young tiger was walking up and down with nervous and fast steps in his cage, behind the railings. Somehow somebody was squeezing his heart with a barbed wire rope today. The sun had risen and set a lot of times since he had been locked up in this cage. He was about one month old. The hunters had caught him when had gone for a walk in the forest one day and they had sold him to this zoo. He was as tall as a fairly large cat. He grew up and got srong as time passed. His cage wasn’t tiny but he didn’t want to live here. He would like to be free and to reach the forest, whose name he started to forget and where he longed for, and he would like to direct his life. People were crowding into there, were standing in front of the cage and were watching him for a lot of minutes with full of admiration.

When the visitors lessened that night – fall, the keeper cleaned and washed the cage. He left a half sheep as dinner into the cage. He locked the door and went away. While his keeper was locking the door and going away, there was a flash of lightning in the young tiger’s mind. The lock’s fitting into its hole and the key’s voice while locking was unusual. If his quite sensitive ears weren’t misleading him, the door hadn’t been locked properly. After eating the meat left into the cage, he started his turns again. The visitors started to increase again. The people had eaten their dinner and they were going to parks and gardens to enjoy and relax. The trouble in the young tiger’s heart had gone away and away and it had trapped into the key’s hole. At midnight, if he also was lucky, he would try to run away from the cage and would try running towards his freedom.

It had completely got dark; it had been a long time after the midnight had passed. There was nobody around. The young tiger pulled hard quickly the door with his strong paws. The door, which hadn’t bee locked properly, opened easily. He went out of the cage quickly. He took the road on the right. This road was ending in the wood further. Walking up and down in the cage wasn’t similar to running outside. He had got quite tired. After he stopped to have a rest, he jumped over the zoo’s wall. He disappeared in the darkness by running towards the forest.

The young tiger passed mountains, hills and he drank cold water. After three days and three nights, while the sun was rising in the morning, he arrived at the big forest, where he was caught and taken when he was too young. He was free now, he was bubbling over with joy. He realized that he was hungry while he was walking joyfully. He hadn’t eaten anything since the day he had run away. He had only drunk water. His keeper used to bring him meat day and night. Before the hunters had caught him, his mother used to feed him. However, life was too different in this immense forest. There was neither his mother nor his keeper now. This was something that he couldn’t think before he ran away from the cage: How would he feed himself?

He saw a deer in the grassy place further while he was thinking like this and walking. The deer sometimes looked around him and then started eating grass again. The deer started running immediately. Two tigers jumped from the bush nearby at the same time. The deer had been covered from four sides when two more tigers stood before him soon. It was obvious that the tigers had laid a trap to catch the deer. The best defense was attack. The brave deer rushed forward with a last effort. He butted terribly the nearest tiger with his sharp horns. The tiger tumbled down within blood. He turned to right a little. He wanted to but the second tiger in front of him too. However, he couldn’t hit. The tigers coming after him had reached. It was impossible to fight with three tigers although the deer was strong. The tigers tumbled the deer down by hitting with their strong paws, they killed and ate him. Then they went away.

The young tiger was petrified at his place. He was looking with unbelievable eyes. What he saw was brutality but the rules of the forest were like this. The weak became food for the stronger. “Namely” he said, “the tigers feed themselves like this. Because I am a tiger too, I should hunt and eat the living things. I can’t kill the other animals to feed myself. No one made me get used to kill. I don’t know killing and I don’t believe in the necessity of killing. The deer used to feed himself by eating grass. It was strong enough. The animals eating grass had been strong. I have no other choice; I will either stay hungry or eat grass. Let the others say “does a tiger eat grass” let them say “is it possible to be a grass eating tiger” “.

One month passed. The grass eating tiger couldn’t find the peace he looked for in the forest. The tigers accepted him but the life in the forest was completely inappropriate for the grass eating tiger. Why were they suddenly getting attacker when they saw a deer, a roe or a rabbit? They had been programmed to kill; they had to kill to live. At this sight there was a tiger living by eating grass, this also had to be thought. While the grass eating tiger was wandering in the forest one day, he met a rabbit. He was surprised with the rabbit’s not running away when he saw the tiger. Amazing! The rabbit was coming towards him. He wanted to step aside but he couldn’t. His feet had become stiff. The rabbit hit the grass eating tiger and fell onto his back. Then he stood up from where he fell and touched the tiger’s face, caressed his cheeks. He asked: “Are you the grass eating tiger. The grass eating tiger couldn’t say a word. He was shocked.

After the rabbit said “You are surely the grass eating tiger. Your mouth doesn’t smell of bload like the other tigers. Look, grass eater, I have heard your reputation. You can’t get used to the forest, you should return to the zoo. As I heard, the tigers had killed some animals in front of your eyes and they had wanted to make you get used to killing. If you can’t get used to killing, the tigers will kill you. Listen to me and go away from here” he wanted to go away but he fell off a hole, which was a little further. The grass eating tiger took the rabbit out of the hole and when he scrutinized his face, he saw that his eye sockets were empty. This rabbit didn’t have eyes. He considered “a blind rabbit”. He took him on his back, took and left him to his hole.

The grass eating tiger couldn’t help crying when he found the blind rabbit dead in his hole the following day. The tigers, which haven’t touched the blind rabbit so far, had envied him when they saw him going on the grass eating tiger’s back and had killed him. The grass eating tiger’s heart was full of hatred. That was too much now. What had they wanted from the poor rabbit? The grass eating tiger plunging into the tigers by running at the last speed, staked more than thirty tigers. “It’s easy to kill a blind rabbit, come and kill me if it’s easy”.  What the tigers wanted was already this. They would infuriate the grass eating tiger and make him attack them and then they would pull him to pieces. There was always many a slip twixt the cup and the lip. It suddenly got dark and started to rain heavily. There were flashes of lightning and thunderbolts were falling. The tigers dispersed but the grass eating tiger didn’t run away. He waited until he got soaked. After half an hour the rain stopped. The sun shone, and the land brightened up. The grass eating tiger wandered there until midnight. When he saw that there were no passersby, he got bored and went away. The matter of forest was over. He was determined to return to the zoo now.

After a few days, his keeper found him waiting in front of the cage. The grass eating tiger would enter the cage a few minutes later and would reply the keeper from inside “here is my home, I’m a cage tiger. I can’t go to the forest even if you wanted. There hadn’t been a place for me” while he was locking him in and said “the lock has just been changed, you can’t try to run away again, because it’s impossible.” The young tiger’s heart got full of pleasure when a female tiger was brought to his cage two months later. They immediately became partners and close friends. The day and days passed, time passed and they had two babies. He became cheerful, happy and his heart was full of peace and the young tiger was walking up and down quietly and slowly behind the iron railings.

Written by: Serdar YILDIRIM

OT  Y?YEN  KAPLAN

Genç kaplan kafesinde, demir parmakl?klar ard?nda, sinirli ve h?zl? ad?mlarla gidip geliyordu.  Nedense bugün yüre?ini sanki dikenli tel halat?yla s?k?yorlard?. Bu kafese kapat?ld???ndan beri güne? birçok kereler do?up batm??t?. Bir ayl?k ya vard? ya yoktu. Ormanda  gezintiye  ç?kt??? gün avc?lar yakalay?p bu hayvanat bahçesine satm??lard?. Daha o zamanlar boyu irice bir kedi boyu kadard?. Zamanla geli?ip güçlendi. Kafesi dar de?ildi,ama o burada ya?amak istemiyordu. Özgür olmak, ad?n? bile unutmaya ba?lad???,  hayali  gözlerinin  önünden  gitmeyen  ormana kavu?mak, hayat?na kendisi  yön  vermek  istiyordu. ?nsanlar  ak?n  ak?n  geliyorlar,  kafesin önünde durup dakikalarca, hayranl?k dolu bak??larla kendisini seyrediyorlard?.

O ak?amüstü ziyaretçilerin azald??? zamanda bak?c? kafesi temizleyip, y?kad?. Ak?am yeme?i olarak yar?m koyunu kafesin içine b?rakt?. Kap?y?  kilitledi, gitti.  Bak?c?s?  kap?y?  kilitleyip giderken, genç kaplan?n beyninde bir ?im?ek çakt?. Kilidin  yuvas?na  oturu?u  ve  anahtar?n çevrilirken ç?kard??? ses al???lm???n d???ndayd?. Oldukça hassas kulaklar?  onu  yan?ltm?yorsa, kap? tam olarak kilitlenmemi?ti. Kafese b?rak?lan eti yedikten sonra, her zamanki voltalar?na ba?lad?. Ziyaretçiler tekrar  ço?almaya  ba?lad?lar.  ?nsanlar  ak?am  yemeklerini  yemi?ler, e?lenmek, dinlenmek için parklara, bahçelere gidiyorlard?. Genç  kaplan?n  yüre?ini  saran s?k?nt? gitmi?, gitmi? kilidin anahtar deli?inde s?k??m?? kalm??t?. Gece yar?s?, biraz da ?ans? yard?m ederse, kafesten kaç?p orman?na, özgürlü?üne ko?may? deneyecekti.

Hava iyice kararm??, vakit gece yar?s?n? geçeli çok olmu?tu. Görünürde kimseler yoktu. Genç kaplan güçlü  pençeleriyle  kap?ya  h?zla  as?ld?.  Tam  olarak  kilitlenmemi?  kap?  aç?l?verdi. Kafesten süratle d??ar? f?rlad?. Sa? yola sapt?. Bu yol ilerdeki a?açl?kta son buluyordu. Kafeste gidip gelmek, d??ar?da ko?maya benzemiyordu. Oldukça yorulmu?tu. Durup dinlendikten sonra hayvanat bahçesi duvar?ndan atlad?. Ormana do?ru ko?arak karanl?klarda kayboldu.

Genç kaplan da?lar, tepeler a?t?, so?uk sulardan içti. Üç  gün  üç  gece  sonra,  sabah  güne? do?arken, daha çok küçükken yakalan?p götürüldü?ü büyük ormana vard?. Özgürdü art?k, içi içine s??m?yordu.  Ne?eli  ne?eli  yürürken  karn?n?n  ac?kt???n?  hissetti.  Kaçt???ndan  beri heyecandan üç gündür bir ?ey yememi?ti. Sadece su içmi?ti. Kafeste sabah ak?am bak?c?s? et getirirdi. Avc?lar yakalamadan önce annesi beslerdi. Fakat  bu uçsuz bucaks?z ormanda ya?am çok farkl?yd?. ?imdi ne annesi vard?, ne bak?c?s? vard?. Kafesten kaçmadan önce dü?ünemedi?i bir ?eydi bu: Ne ile karn?n? doyuracakt??

Böyle dü?ünüp yürürken, ilerdeki otlukta bir geyik gördü. Geyik, arada s?rada etraf?na bak?n?p tekrar ot yeme?e ba?l?yordu. Geyik, aniden ko?maya ba?lad?. Ayn? anda yan taraftaki çal?l?ktan iki kaplan f?rlad?. Biraz  sonra  geyi?in  önüne  iki  kaplan  daha  ç?k?nca  geyik  dört  yandan sar?lm??t?. Belli kaplanlar geyi?i yakalamak için tuzak kurmu?lard?. En iyi savunma hücumdu. Cesur geyik, son bir gayretle ileri at?ld?. Kendisine en yak?n kaplana sivri boynuzlar?yla müthi? bir kesme vurdu. Kaplan kanlar içinde s?rtüstü yuvarland?. Hafif yana döndü. Önündeki ikinci kaplana da ayn? ?ekilde vurmak istedi. Fakat  tutturamad?. Pe?inden gelen  di?er  kaplanlar da  yeti?mi?ti. Geyik, ne kadar kuvvetli olursa olsun,  üç  tane  kaplanla  ba?  etmesi  olanaks?zd?. Kaplanlar, güçlü pençeleriyle vurarak geyi?i yere yuvarlad?lar ve öldürüp yediler. Daha sonra  çekilip gittiler.

Genç kaplan, oldu?u yerde donmu? kalm??t?. ?nan?lmaz gözlerle bak?yordu. Gördü?ü bir vah?etti. Fakat  orman kanunlar? böyleydi.  Zay?f daha kuvvetliye yem oluyordu.“ Demek ki ” dedi, “ kaplanlar böyle kar?nlar?n? doyuruyorlarm??. Ben  de  kaplan  oldu?uma göre benim de canl?lar? avlay?p yemem laz?m. Ben karn?m? doyurmak için  di?er hayvanlar? öldüremem. Kimse  beni  öldürmeye  al??t?rmad?.  Öldürmeyi  bilmiyorum  ve  öldürmenin gereklili?ine inanm?yorum. Geyik  ot yiyerek besleniyordu.  Gücü kuvveti yerindeydi. Ot  yiyen hayvanlar güçlü oluyormu?. Ba?ka çarem yok, ya aç kalaca??m ya da ot   yiyece?im. Vars?n  “  kaplan ot yer mi “   vars?n  “ ot yiyen kaplan olur mu “  desinler.

Aradan bir ay geçti. Ot yiyen kaplan ormanda arad??? huzuru bir türlü bulamad?. Kaplanlar onu aralar?na kabul etmi?lerdi  ama ormandaki ya?am ot yiyen kaplana ters geliyordu. Neden geyik, karaca, tav?an gördüklerinde aniden sald?rganla??yorlard?. Onlar öldürmek için programlanm??lard?, ya?amak için öldürmek zorundayd?lar. Bu tarafta bir kaplan ot yiyerek ya??yordu, bunu da dü?ünmek laz?md?.

Ot yiyen kaplan bir gün ormanda gezerken kar??s?na bir tav?an ç?kt?. Tav?an?n kendisini görüp de kaçmamas?na ?a??rd?. Hayret, tav?an üstüne do?ru geliyordu. Kenara çekilmek istedi, çekilemedi. Ayaklar? tutulmu?tu. Tav?an, ot yiyen kaplana çarp?p s?rtüstü dü?tü. Daha sonra yatt??? yerden do?rulup onun  yüzünü  elledi,  yanaklar?n?  ok?ad?.  “ Sen ot yiyen kaplan m?s?n? “ diye sordu. Ot yiyen kaplan g?k diyemedi. Dili dama??na yap??m??t?.

Tav?an:  “ Tabii can?m, sen ot yiyen kaplans?n. A?z?n öteki kaplanlar gibi kan kokmuyor. Bak ot yiyen, ?öhretin kula??ma kadar geldi. Sen ormana al??amazs?n, hayvanat bahçesine dönmelisin. Duydu?uma göre, kaplanlar senin gözlerinin önünde baz? hayvanlar? öldürüp, seni de öldürmeye al??t?rmak isterlermi?. E?er öldürmeye al??amazsan kaplanlar seni öldürürler. Sen beni dinle ve çek git buralardan “  dedikten sonra yürüyüp gitmek isterken az ilerdeki bir çukura dü?tü. Ot yiyen kaplan tav?an? çukurdan ç?kard? ve onun yüzüne dikkatle bak?nca göz çukurlar?n?n bo? oldu?unu gördü. Gözleri yoktu bu tav?an?n. Kör bir tav?an diye geçirdi içinden. Onu s?rt?na bindirdi ve yuvas?na götürüp b?rakt?.

Ertesi gün kör tav?an? yuvas?nda ölü olarak bulan ot yiyen kaplan gözya?lar?n? tutamad?. ?imdiye kadar kör tav?ana dokunmayan kaplanlar onu ot yiyen kaplan?n s?rt?nda giderken görünce k?skanm??lar ve öldürmü?lerdi. Ot yiyen kaplan?n yüre?i nefretle doldu. Bu kadar? da fazlayd? art?k. Ne istemi?lerdi garip bir tav?andan. Son sürat ko?arak kaplanlar?n aras?na dalan ot yiyen kaplan otuzdan fazla kaplana rest çekti.  “ Kör tav?an? öldürmek kolay, s?k?ysa gelin beni de öldürün. “

Kaplanlar?n bekledi?i buydu zaten. Ot yiyen kaplan? çileden ç?kar?p  üstlerine sald?rtacaklar sonra  parça parça edeceklerdi. Evdeki hesap her zaman çar??ya uymazd?. Aniden ortal?k karard? ve ?iddetli bir ya?mur ba?lad?. ?im?ekler çak?yor, y?ld?r?mlar dü?üyordu. Kaplanlar sa?a – sola kaç??t?lar ama ot yiyen kaplan kaçmad?. S?r?ls?klam oluncaya kadar bekledi. Yar?m saat sonra ya?mur dindi. Güne? açt?, ortal?k ayd?nland?. Ot yiyen kaplan gece yar?s?na kadar oralarda gezindi. Gelen giden olmad???n? görünce beklemekten b?k?p uzakla?t? gitti. Orman i?i buraya kadard?. O, ?imdi hayvanat bahçesine dönmeye kararl?yd?.

Birkaç gün sonra sabaha kar?? bak?c?s? onu kafesin önünde beklerken buldu. Ot yiyen kaplan biraz sonra kafese girecek ve bak?c?s? kap?y? üstüne kilitlerken,  “ Kilit yeni de?i?ti, bir daha kaçma numaras?na kalk??amazs?n, çünkü art?k imkans?z “ demesine kar??l?k, içinden “ Yuvam buras?, ben kafes kaplan?y?m. Hem istesem de ormana gidemem. Bana göre de?ilmi? oras? “ dedi.

?ki ay sonra kafesine di?i bir kaplan getirilince yüre?i k?vançla doldu genç kaplan?n. E? oldular birbirlerine ve kayna??verdiler. Gün döndü, günler döndü, zaman geçti ve iki tane yavrular? oldu. Ne?elendi, mutland?, huzur doldu yüre?i ve genç kaplan art?k kafesinde, demir parmakl?klar ard?nda sakin ve yava? ad?mlarla gidip geliyordu.

 

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