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Adi & Praja 010

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Adi and Praja

Chapter 4

Issue 10: Blatto

His dream became worse and worse, almost like a nightmare.

I will describe here, as an example, only one of the terrible and frightening fearful and gloomy things he saw. You must have courage to read this story, even though it is not a human story.

(10)

(Blatto)

 

Blatto

It is about a cockroach. His name was Blatto. Blatto was born in a cellar. He was tiny when he climbed out of his egg. It was completely dark. But that he did not even notice at first, because he did not know what light was, or that light even existed. Immediately he started to feel the world around him with his very long feelers, also called antennas, which he could move around in all directions. He was alone. There was no mother, no father. No sisters, no brothers, no friends. He could only feel his own body because he was living in it. His body was his house. Everything he felt with his feelers was hard outside. His body was also hard outside and he had six legs, but even that he did not know, because he could not count. His feelings were very gloomy – actually happiness did not, at least almost not, exist at all in his feelings. The only advantage of this was that because he did not have the feeling of happiness, he did not know how unhappy he was. He just was as he was, he just felt how he felt – which is about the same for all cockroaches.

Still he had some desire, some drive to go somewhere, to discover something, to do something. He started to use his six legs and walked. To his disappointment he noticed that just above him, just two millimeters above him, was some kind of ceiling which felt very rough. So he could not stand upright on his hind legs. That did not matter though, because Blatto’s body was long and flat, and his stomach was just above the floor, and his back was just under the ceiling.

He knew all these things, in a way, but because he had no mind he could not think, and because he could not think he could do nothing to change himself and the situation around him. When moving about on his legs and feeling his way with his feelers he suddenly bumped into something. This “something” smelt ugly, and it also moved. But it walked in the opposite direction as he did. It was another cockroach. They pushed each other because both of them wanted to go his own way. Both of them did not know why he wanted to go that particular way, but still found that is was worth fighting for. Both were irritated by meeting the other, because so was their character. Luckily cockroaches have very short memories, so after the pushing and fighting was over they forget about it so quickly that they had no time to start hating each other.

All this took place in a deep, moist and filthy stinking cellar under a narrow ceiling, under something like what humans like to walk on and call linoleum or lino, and under him was the hard floor which all the time hurt his feet. The floor was made of a material which humans call “concrete”.

Another feeling he had was hunger. He wanted to eat. Of course cockroaches have no mothers to cook nice dishes for them, no tables with plates, no chairs to sit on. They can only eat what they smell and stumble upon. And what they smell and stumble upon always stinks and is dusty, and nobody would ever eat it – but for them there was nothing else, so Blatto had to eat filth. Strange enough he did not complain though, partly because he knew no better, but also because there was some feeling in his heart that it was his duty. He had long since forgotten that he had a heart – but a heart never really dies. So even cockroaches in such miserable conditions have a heart, and from that heart comes some feeling of duty, and even some feeling of pride that he was doing his duty. If he really would have been offered to choose another duty, he might have declined. Because now at this moment he did this work and was, in some way – proud of it. So he ate and ate and ate and grew and grew and grew. And because of that he became a healthy big cockroach. But real happiness did not exist for him.

After some time he discovered a way out from under the narrow ceiling. Good that he discovered that just in time. Because before him were a big number of other cockroaches who had already moved from under the ceiling into the light. Now for the first time Blatto could see something. Suddenly one of his fellow cockroaches (we cannot say “friends” because cockroaches have no friends) … so above one of his fellow cockroaches suddenly appeared from the sky an enormous bright yellow dagger – or rather two daggers with very sharp points and it moved down towards his fellow with tremendous speed. And it hit. His fellow’s body burst into two peaces while he was till alive and his legs and feelers where moving in all directions in defense, but helpless, and the bright yellow daggers pulled him up in the sky and then smashed him down. He was feeling enormous pain. Then he was taken up again and smashed against a stone. Now he lost consciousness. His body cracked and his interiors came out of his carapace and then … it was all over. He moved no more and he left his crushed body, and was free. And that body was eaten by the two daggers – which were actually the beak of a big bird. But the bird was not satisfied. He liked the taste of that cockroach and wanted more. And one by one he tortured and killed quite a few fellow cockroaches. Some escaped though.

Blatto remained safely under the low ceiling and was not killed. But cockroaches and many animals who we call “lower on the ladder of evolution” do not suffer individually, but together. Others feel the pain also (that would also apply to joy, if cockroaches had any). So also Blatto and others felt the pain. Without knowing that themselves, they share a lot of the world of feelings together. And they evolve together, so that all of them learn from the pain of others, and that will help them in their next lives.

From some of the cockroaches which escaped and came back in time under the ceiling he learned that cockroaches are universally hated. It seems that everyone outside the safe ceiling was an enemy: birds, cats, people, chemicals, even pieces of food that smelled “good” but were poisonous. But they did not know why they were hated – after all they were only doing their duty and caused no harm to any other creature.

 

(11)

(blatto’s heart)

 Blatto’s Heart

Adi was watching all this in his dream. He was looking at Blatto and the other cockroaches with so much anxious concentration that he himself felt like a cockroach, and felt all the pain and despair – the difference was only that at the same time he knew

 

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