The bull, the bear and the bumbley bee,
Sat in the shade of a Gulmohar tree,
Said one to the two, and two to the three,
What lives do we lead, persecuted or free?
I live in the forest, eat termites and ants,
I sleep in my den through the heat of the day,
But I can be grumpy if woken too early,
Surprised or disturbed and I don’t like to play.
Should I be chased for not being cheerful?
Don’t you feel the same when woken too soon?
I’m happy to share the forests and grassland,
I’ll come out at night, by the light of the moon.
Some of my cousins have freedom to wander,
To graze in green pastures, no shackles, no chains,
One brother I have in the Banni,
Fed on crops grown in sweet summer rains.
How different for those in cities and towns,
More buildings built, more green fields lost,
A cow in town must scavenge on garbage,
The city grows bigger, the cow pays the cost.
You both talk of freedom, of cities, of forests,
Loved or revered, you both have your place,
I live here too, am I not important?
I’m so very small and take up little space.
Without me no honey, no flowers, no blossom,
No food for birds, no flutter-byes bright,
I’m sorry to sting, but when we are threatened,
To defend my sisters I’m willing to fight.
The bee, the bull and the snuffly bear,
Were common but now are increasingly rare,
So ask one another would not it be fair,
To live and let live in the country we share?