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Do not inflict harm on others who do not harm

Recently, local villages were perplexed as to why a cow would chose to bite a man (source: Village astir after cow bites man, The Star, 16 Nov 09). An odd job worker was clearing the jungle when a cow came from behind the bush and viciously bit his hand- causing him to be hospitalized. At first, he thought the attacker was a tiger but realized it was a cow.

When the villagers rounded a suspect- a cow, the man insisted it was not the cow in question. He remembered the cow had a huge stomach and was pregnant. But the mystery surrounds the fact- why would a known herbivore chose to attack a man who obviously is not a threat to it.

This reminds me of a movie, “Failure to Launch” staring Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew McConaughey. In that movie, Tripp (Matthew McConaughey) is a single man still living with his parents. He travelled into jungles, played sports and go surfing alongside with two of his best friends. On 3 instances, he had strange encounters- he was bitten by a lizard that was known to be a herbivore and attacked by a dolphin (I cannot remember what was the third incident). His friends told him that these animals are known to never attack human beings and these attacks must be signs that he was going against nature.

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Subsequently Tripp changed and learned to be more independent and started a proper relationship. Towards the end of the show, he went on a yacht with Paula (Sarah Jessica Parker) and accidentally fell onto the sea. A dolphin came- and Tripp was so afraid that the dolphin would bite him like what happened to him the previous time. Instead, the friendly dolphin came to him for a pat on its head and later swam off contentedly back to the sea. It was an indication that he was finally ‘in sync with nature’ and being what he was supposed to be.

Even though I watched the movie via HBO sometime back, I still remember the interesting lesson from the movie. Strange things do happen if you do things that are against your human nature. It may, that could have explained why the villager in the above story was attacked by a cow.

Similar incidents- such as why usually friendly dogs have attacked or behave aggressively towards just one person can give an insight into the person’s nature- it’s not to say that the person is bad or wicked, but it could be an indication that the person had to work on some issues. One of the experiences that living with nature (from my travelling) had taught me is to be in peace with nature and animals inhabiting an area. This is a rule that many jungle trekkers are aware off and would follow to ensure their safety.

For example, I used to be terrified of snakes. The sight of them, even on a TV documentary would send chills down my spine on the days when I was a pure city gal. Then I went travelling last year and tried my hand at staying in forests. I remembered one evening while strolling by myself along a jungle path, I heard some noise along some dry leaves about 2 meters ahead of me- and the next thing- a huge black cobra slithered past right in front of me. It went off faster- such animals are not out there to look for trouble or attack people, unless provoked or that if their clan had been killed. I was told that snakes, like elephants never forgets- so if you kill their family members- they may come back to seek revenge. But if we do not do any harm, and instead we learn to send positive energies or say prayers for inhabitants in the forest, generally we would be safe. That is how hermits and forest dwellers can stay in the forest unharmed for years- because they knew and abide in the ‘unspoken’ law of the jungle. They believe that if their time on earth is up, then they would meet their end even though they are at the safest place on earth. After a few encounters with snakes that slithered off faster than me, I realised that my fears of snakes, like any phobias, were irrational.

Once, a young Thai girl I know was having some strange illness- and her teacher, who has psychic abilities admonished her- ‘do you remember once you have killed a snake for sport? Why did you kill a snake? It did not even do any harm on you and yet you were so wicked- you hunt it down and bashed its head repeated with a stick till it died’. The girl admitted it was true but was surprised how her teacher knew as she had never told anyone about the incident. It is said that the spirit of the snake still lived on and it was seeking revenge.

Throughout my life, I have heard a few of these incidents first hand, that’s why I firmly believe that a person should never hunt for sport- unless he is prepared to face the consequence of doing harm towards one that does not harm. I was told that the effect usually comes in the form of terminal illness, unexplained body pain and degenerative diseases in later life. (Disclaimer: I am not saying that all people with those health conditions got it because of killing because there can be many other causes. But I’ve heard real first hand experiences being related to me). Another advice is that don’t eat animals that are not meant to be eaten- like wild boar, snakes, dogs, monkeys, turtles, tigers, etc.

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