Another day and I feel tired already before the day has even begun. I have been held captive here for how long I don’t know anymore. Except that, it has been too long. Long enough that I don’t even remember the face of my mother, my father either. Not that it would have made any difference. What kind of parents let their little baby get lost like this, I ask?
With no companions, I feel wretched in this cage all alone. The metal bars are thinly placed and do not offer any route of escape. I have almost given up hope now. The tiny space that I’m forced to call home, holds a bucket of water and an empty bowl now. Nothing else. How cruel. Food is served only twice a day and it is a long way off before I will be awarded my ration of the day. The strenuous work that I’m put through every day makes me so tired and hungry. I can barely stand on my little feet after that. I wonder if the beasts will ever grow bored of me and let me out again. I doubt it, though. My fate was sealed the day I was caught by one of the huge beasts. At least there had been a few of my kind along with me. A few days later I was bought and brought to this godforsaken place. And now there’s nothing more left for me.
I’m lost in my thoughts. This is the only way I know to pass my time before the beasts arrive. They are here almost every day except once a week when they take rest. I have no idea what constitutes rest for them, but for me, it means one whole day without any work and only the sun, the moon, the stars and occasionally feathered creatures to keep me company. But today is not one of those days. In fact, it is a day after one of the ‘rest days’. And these scare me even more. For after a full day of rest the beasts come back full of energy and even more gusto to make me suffer. I wonder what kind of perverse pleasure they derive from holding an innocent life like me in a cage all alone. Sometimes I cry and shout but to no avail. They do not understand my language and I do not understand theirs.
The rattling of the door breaks me out of my reverie. They are here. At first, only one of them comes inside the room. But slowly the room starts to fill up. There are so many of them. I don’t know how to count. They are ignoring me for now. Not good. If I’m not wrong I am to be worked double today.
Oh! They are finally looking at me. I can see their malicious eyes and crooked mouth curving into smiles. They are so ugly, they hurt my eyes. One of them is holding up another cage, this one made up of transparent glass. They place it beside my cage. Another one of them has my torture equipment in his hands. And I know what comes next, my tragedy.
The beast holding up the equipment strolls to my cage and opens the door. As trained, I scurry back to a corner away from his fingers. Placing the torture device, he quickly removes his hands so that I cannot escape. But I don’t. I gave up trying to escape a long time ago seeing the futility of my attempts. Once I’d bitten one of them only to be flung against the metal bars of my cage. After that, I never once tried.
Now all of the beasts have gathered around my cage and are pulling and pushing each other to get a better view of my cage. I know what they are expecting, so with a heavy sigh, I scurry towards the device. It is a huge wheelset on metal bars. I get inside and start running. The wheel remains in one place. It is static. The only thing that moves is my feet. Soon as my running begins the beasts start shouting too. The cacophony almost makes me deaf, but I’m used to it now.
It’s been a while now, and I can feel that they are aching to see me in my other cell, the glass one. I’m almost happy to comply for I know if I can complete the exercise I will be rewarded with food. As predicted, one of the beasts standing close to my cage opens the door and lifts me up and out of my cage in his two calloused rough hands. Another beast- this one with long hair- opens the door to my other cell and I’m put inside. Without a moment’s hesitation, I start running. This cell has a maze built into it. I take turns, miss a few and make my way towards the far end where I know lays my salvation.
I’m feeling lucky now. I can smell my food, so I must be nearing. A few more turns and blind spots later I’m finally here. A bowl full of brown nuggets fills my sight and I indulge myself in the simple luxury of food. Somewhere in the background, I can still hear the beasts shouting but I could not care less. A pair of hands lifts me along with my bowl up and put me back in my regular cage.
Playtime is over for them. They move away from me to the front of the room where a giant beast is waiting for them. I guess when you are a guinea pig; there is nothing else left in your life except becoming a pet to human children. By the time you’ve finished reading my story, I might already be long gone. But thank you anyway for bearing with me.