The Unlikely Bandit
An amusing mystery, inspired by a true event
Nick squinted at the road ahead, then the road behind. There was not a sign of movement. All the action that was happening was next to him. One may not call the idle chomping of grass action, but in the monotonous stillness on the highway, it was nothing lesser than a fight scene. A goat. Fighting the grass. In a car. On the driver seat.
“So you are telling me this goat here,” Nick took a pause, weighing the words about to leave his mouth, “is the one who has just carried out a heist?”
The old man and his wife sighed and then synchronised their nods, failing to understand why they were being asked the same question repeatedly.
“And you want me to believe that?” Nick shrugged, looking enquiringly at the couple.
“Why is it so difficult to believe?” The old man barked, looking puzzled. “We saw them, the partner ran away. This idiot here, we caught.”
Nick rolled his eyes and asked, “Ok. Let me get this straight. You are telling me that you saw this goat here drive the car with that stolen money with her partner in the passenger’s seat?” He had his eyebrows raised to their physical limit.
“Duh. Don’t be silly,” the old man stormed. “How can a goat drive a car?”
“Then who the hell was driving the car? The partner?” The couple synchronised their nods again.
“I guess the partner was a human then.” Nick was getting restless now.
“Yes. But he wasn’t driving the car. He was,” the old man pointed at the lazy white and black beast again. “Just that he too was a human then.”
Nick had a stream of expletives clogging his throat, held back out of civility, “and he turned into a goat after?”
“Yes — right in front of these eyes,” enacted the old man, accidentally poking his eye out of sheer excitement. “The two guys were driving at a breakneck speed, almost ran us over and skid-crashed into the dump.” He was still kneading the hurt eye.
Pain in his eye did not abate. Neither did he. “Then the one on the passenger seat ran away. This soul here mumbled some verses and turned himself into a goat.”
“Huh. And you want me to..,” Nick shot a puzzling look at the couple.
“Of course hang him,” shrieked the woman now. Both Nick and the old man were startled. “We want you to hang him to death. He knows black magic — he is too dangerous to the society.”
“Uh-huh. Ok.” Nick had had enough. He mocked, “Let me do one thing. I will arrest this goat here. Unfortunately, our laws don’t apply to the goats. So I will hold it in my custody, feed him only grass. He has to give up and turn back to a human. I will hang him then.”
In his mind, Nick had already sentenced the goat’s death through a speedy trial run in his mind.
Nick saw himself walk away, with him, unknowingly, idly chomping on the grass lying in front of him.
You think that’s crazy? Well, the story is inspired by an absurd, but true event reported a long time back.
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