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Fighting the Wrong Enemy

BY SALWA YEHIA AL-ERYANI

Recently the mosquitoes in Yemen had a new guest, who was also a Yemeni, but had awareness, intelligence, and talents that were far greater than those of all the others. They called it Boss.

Boss gave them lectures, suggestions, advices, and methods on how to live a better life in their environment. It also attracted their lazy attention to their enemy (mankind) who comes up with new weapons every short period of time - new weapons which are always more destructive than the ones before. It warned them that man is the most destructive and aggressive enemy. It taught them a creative way to live their lives, free and unchained to any fears of being hit to death by a plastic racket, or sprayed with a suffocating killing insecticide.

At the end of each lecture, Boss reminded them that one can’t do better than his best and that being sprayed to death, or hit with a plastic racket is the fate that we all shall meet. Yet a living thing must live a normal life and that a life cannot be normal unless it is not imprisoned inside the cells of fears. A mosquito must experience success, health, happiness, freedom and the available amount of safety. Mosquitoes should not be attacked and killed in massacres just because they suck a drop of human blood. So what if they do that?

“As far as I know”, the Boss said, “humans are not much harmed nor do they lose anything worth mentioning. Mosquitoes must live and prosper, too, you know. It is a right for all creatures. Why do humans want to take this right away from us?”

These clever lectures led many young mosquitoes to attack humans with more hatred and violence. The Boss became a spiritual symbol to them. Other mosquitoes began to suck blood for the Boss and bring it to it. The Boss stopped flying and forgot all about biting. It gained more weight and became too fat to fly! As a result of these concerted attacks, the humans too began to get fed up with this danger they were tolerating. They brought stronger insecticides and electrical rackets to hit the mosquito dead with an instant electric current. Soon the house became free of mosquitoes. Only the Boss was there trying with much effort to hide as it was unable to fly.

As time passed, it became so hungry that it couldn’t feed itself. No one was there to serve it. The Boss wept. Whose Boss was it if there weren’t any mosquitoes around? As it sat pondering its fate, the Boss saw beneath it a shadow of a man bearing down on it. The Boss raised its face and found a huge man standing in front of it and raising its arm high with an electric racket in his hand.

Oh! It is the fate we all meet. The Boss was too fat to fly and too heavy to walk. The Boss asked the man with a weak smile, “How about some negotiations? Just give me a minute to ask you the last question before I die.”

The man replied, “Quick! What do you want? My wife has Malaria. We all have swollen red parts all over our bodies. This is all because of you, you dirty insect. Quick what do you want?”

“I just wanted to ask you why you want to kill me.”

“Oh, you dumb creature. I just told you - Malaria and swollen parts on our bodies. We have got enough to struggle in our lives and we do not need any mosquitoes! Quick what do you want?”

“Yes, but you are still living, and excuse me if I say so, but you are enjoying your life too. You human beings are earning money, building houses, buying cars, TVs, mobiles. You are also traveling. Your wife is raising your kids. She is buying herself dresses, perfumes, and jewelry. Your kids are playing, watching cartoons on TV, being educated, and when they grow up they are sent abroad to graduate from prestigious universities. They eat fruits and meat and sweets. You humans are enjoying your lives. You should not try to deny all this, because if you do so you, you will look like someone trying to cover the sun with his palm. So our bites are not damaging you THAT much. A drop of blood out of you will make no difference to you, but it will help us to exist.”

“You are harmful! We must all try to destroy your species.”

“Honestly, I am so astonished. You puzzle me. Is it possible that you are not aware whatsoever that those who harm you and suck your blood to drought are not us mosquitoes but your own mankind? Is it imaginable that you humans, who have reached other planets, are fighting us mosquitoes and leaving your own fathers and brothers and sons who are definitely stealing from you with no trial or even an objection? Is it probable that you really don’t notice that those who deserve to be hit with whips of fire and sprayed with acids are your own species??? Those who grabbed hope from your hearts, those who swept patience from your days, those who forced you to live a life of stress, struggling depression and despair, those who suffer indigestion while you look for a piece of bread, those who stole everything and their servants stole the leftovers and asked you to breathe only and be content! I can’t see how you don’t see and I don’t get how you don’t get it? How can you manage to live a life against mosquitoes and do nothing to these wild beasts? I want to cry. Please allow me to do so. I really feel so sorry for you humans. What a pity you are fighting the wrong enemy.”

The man was so embarrassed he let the mosquito walk out of the room.

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Reviews:

Great depth, great meaning, beautifully written. Keep it up!                                                                                                                   -  Lucie J  10/25/05

I liked the writer’s style. Good imagery....                             -  Matt   11/1/05

Great!                                                                               - Kim  1/31/06

A great piece of satire.... beautifully written with deep meaning.                                                                                                                 - Sam  9/26/08

Very good!                                                                         -  Tapde  3/9/09

Loved the story although it is a bitter reflection of our so called modern civilization.

Flora  1/9/10

My tears ran when I saw my story was one of the most read in March and it had been like months since I sent it. Thank you all. This time I sent a new story. :)

Salwa Al-Eryani  3/22/10

  

Other short story by Salwa Al-Eryani:

 

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