Who Is A Man-Eater Anyway?

Notes From A Nature Camp

Source: Wikimedia

Author’s Note : This is the twenty ninth installment in my 100 days, 100 blogs challenge. In case you missed it, the previous installment is a flash fiction about a moment in time.

The much fabled man-eaters of Kumaun, documented and eulogized by the inimitable Jim Corbett, have long fascinated the human kind. As much of a fantasy lore as a terrifying reality of living in the interior Himalayan jungles, the scope the tales of these man-eaters present are endless. Sometimes painted as monsters, sometimes as spirits, sometimes as ferocious beasts and sometimes merely as helpless animals driven to their limits — the man-eaters of Kumaun have countless facets, depending on who you ask.

But who really knows a man-eater anyway?

What humans consider a ruthless villain may just be an animal bereft of options, driven by nothing more than its primal survival instinct. Man-eater, after all, is nothing more than an aberration. And like most aberrations in Nature’s perfectly oiled machine, more often than not, it is man-made.

Perhaps a man-eater is a symbol of Nature’s helplessness in face of human pig-headedness — driven out of its natural habitat, deprived of its food resources and then cornered and hunted for attempting to survive.

Or maybe a man-eater is a warning — Nature’s way of giving mankind a glimpse of its unforgiving retaliation, should it ever choose to respond to mindless ecological atrocities inflicted by humans across the planet.

No wonder a man-eater is feral — baying for human blood.

It is a sneak peek into the future of our own construct. It is the least we deserve.

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