“Faster, faster”, he said to himself as he ran through the narrow path between the thick forest on both sides. He remembered how his coach used to train him to run fast during college athletic meets. Of course this was no college, and he was sure his coach had never been chased by a tiger.
“Grrr”, the roar of the tiger brought him back to attention, and he started looking for a hideout where the tiger would not be able to go. He remembered the tunnel he had passed some distance ago – “I should have entered it and hid there, and maybe the tiger would have given it a miss.” “But what if the tiger would have followed me and the tunnel had no other end?” – he smiled as he realized it was the right decision to not enter that tunnel.
His eyes lit up as he saw a steep cliff a little ahead on the left. He changed course and headed for the cliff knowing that he has to climb it down, being pretty sure that a tiger can’t follow him down the cliff. What was even better that the cliff had deep vegetation and thick bushes which he could use to climb down!
He took a strong hold of the bushes and threw himself over the cliff. He could feel his hands getting soaked in blood as he climbed down the bushes. But it didn’t hurt as he finally felt safe. He enjoyed the sight of seeing the tiger roaring at the top but unable to do anything. He continued to climb down, now the bushes were a lot thinner and very soon it was just rock. He saw a rope hanging till the bottom of the cliff, probably left behind by some mountaineer. He caught hold of it and continued his descent, until he heard another big roar.
What made him shiver was the knowledge that the roar didn’t came from above, but from below him. He held onto the rope, and unwillingly looked down, fearing the worst. And there it was, another tiger waiting for him. “What happened to my luck today?” – he thought as he was caught between the two tigers waiting for him. He held onto the rope, now that he had no other option.
Just when he thought things could not get any worse he saw two rats coming out of a tiny opening among the rocks and move towards the rope. In the absence of anything soft to chew on, the rope was a perfect time pass for them. “Oh no, crap..”, he uttered as he tried to move and shake away the rats. But he stopped not knowing the strength of the rope and fearing that it might break faster by his shaking than by being chewed away from the rats.
But as he has moved left and right with the rope to shake away the rats, he saw a beautiful strawberry plant on one side. He paused for a while, and then took the risk of swinging to that side and pluck a few strawberries with one hand. “They look delicious.”, he thought as he looked at them. The next moment he was enjoying the sweet taste of the strawberries in his mouth. “Wow, tastes just as well”, was his joyful expression as he cherished the strawberries in his mouth.