One thing that I was absolutely sure from the beginning was that I was not a man. However, I had once been a king, a sailor, a businessman, a thief and a murderer. I am not a god either. I have no memory of my age but I have lived through ages.
I have lived as every creature known to man and as creatures men believe to exist only in fairy tales. I have wandered all my life —my endless existence—across every corner of the world. For it is in my nature to move constantly. I am the wanderer.
Living as an animal is easy. You think less and have fewer worries. You follow a certain pattern and go along with their natural instinct. Becoming a human is complex. They have intricate thoughts. They worry about the smallest things; kill and plunder their own kind for the littlest of reasons; fight wars for reasons that seem so insignificant for someone who has lived so long.
Immortality, not dying, living forever—is worse than dying a painful death. Death is a release; immortality is being stuck at a small, dark room for all eternity. I cannot remember how many times I have longed to part this life and become ash and get carried away by the rivers all the way up to the oceans. Sometimes I would wish that the soil would consume me and nourish the plants that would grow out of me. But I cannot die. I cannot drown, burn, get cut, get poisoned or starve and my flesh heal immediately even at the slightest injury.
I have chosen to become a gray squirrel this time. I have forgotten how many days, weeks or months I have lived in this forest as a little rodent. I seem to enjoy the cool Himalayan air.
I have made a dray—a nest that real squirrels make with leaves and twigs; tucked comfortably in a branch of a tree. From there I can observe an entirely different world of chirps and squeaks and the electric buzz of insects and an occasional howl
But the real treat is the the majesty and the timelessness of the Great mountains. These mountains are the only things that make me feel less lonely. At sunrise they are ablaze with fire: golden and unearthly. During the rest of the day they simply look intimidating and ancient; as ancient and as old as time itself.
I get so lost in the sight of them that sometimes I forget to feed for many days. Now I feel that my little squirrel body needs some nourishment. It is almost twilight. The leaves of the trees are turning form green to grey by the minute. I cannot see anything worth gnawing on the forest floor, although I can feel a small mouse scuttling somewhere in the bush.
I turn into an owl and swoop down for the little mouse.
Author bio: I am a law student pursuing my B.A.LL.B. from Nepal Law Campus, Kathmandu. I enjoy reading fantasy and thrillers and this is my first story.
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