Leopard Creates a Hero
There are occasions when people rise to fame for mysterious reasons. They get a surprise reward too. But the fame fades into oblivion when the truth and caliber of the characters are known. We have before us one such case.
One fine morning a young boy was chipping firewood with an axe. While thus engaged he saw some animal surging through a hole forming part of a mud wall. He went closer and thought it was a cat struggling to push its head forward through the hole. It grinned at him. He caught hold of a log of wood and hit it with all his strength. The blow left a heavy impact on the animal and it soon died. News spread that a youth killed a leopard in the outskirts of a town
. The public came to know this and many came to the spot to pay homage to him. Press representatives rushed in and took photographs of the boy carrying the leopard on his shoulders. They praised him sky-high, and he became the most photographed person that day. Everyone in the neighborhood recommended award for the boy. The District Chief specially came down to see this boy and congratulated him .She announced a gallantry reward. Soon this was given. The boy and the leopard became the talk of the town.
Two days passed. While the town and its inhabitants were resting on the laurels won by the boy, a rumor was set afloat that a circus company running shows in the vicinity had reported loss of three leopards from its cage. It retrieved two of them but one was still missing. These leopards were almost like domesticated animals and behaved well with humans. The circus company manager had no proper license to run the circus shows and no special license for keeping the animals. So he kept mum when the animals escaped for fear of punitive action. When news spread that a leopard was killed he came out of his abode and admitted that it was his leopard. It was a trained animal.
Now follows the interesting part of the episode. The boy who killed it was said to be one mentally unsound and he used to frequent a mental hospital. He was not in a position to distinguish between a leopard and a cat. Further while chipping firewood he saw some movement along the compound wall. He took it for a cat and hit it with a log of wood. The blow fell right on its head. According to those familiar with the location of the mud hole, the only place where the blow could fall was its head. This apart, the leopard had thrust its head from the other side of the mud wall and could not charge. The smaller diameter of the hole prevented its exit. The head got stuck and thus locked. So the blow fell on its head with great force as a result of which it died. It was a docile leopard and was hiding until the boy saw it peeping through the hole. The killer was absolutely safe on the other side providentially at a vantage point. The leopard could not escape and its head bore the full brunt of the blow. The hole was just enough to allow passage of the neck. The leopard died but a teenager rose to fame, which faded once, the truth was known. The relatives and friends of the boy thanked God that the award was not withdrawn.