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Falling down the hole (only to find a bear)

Fools rush in there where angels fear to tread. But what happens afterward? Well, as fools they are, they never find out when exactly they had lost their way, fall in a ditch and try to swim in it thinking it’s a river!
A few years back, me and my cousin were both cadets in a military school. As a part of curriculum, we used to participate in a cross country trip once in a year. That year I was a fresher and my cousin was an immediate senior to me. We formed a team of 6 cadets, my cousin being the team leader and were given a route through the hills to follow. We started our journey in the morning and were supposed to return to the base before sunset ( about 6 P.M. in tropical zone). we were 6 energetic lads, seeking danger and adventure in every turn of life. Soon we decided to leave the track and find another way to the rendezvous through the wilderness. As young we were, we never gave it a thought that we might be lost, So didn’t left any mark behind us to find our way back.
Well, it took us around 4 hours to realize that we were completely lost in the midst of tropical hills. Of course we were chickened out at first, but my cousin, our team leader boosted up our morale by an encouraging speech,” we are cadets, taking challenge is a part of our everyday life, we will manage to find our way sooner or later.” So we decided to continue our march instead of turning back. Perhaps that’s how an association of fools rush into a trap.
Anyway, after another 2 hours, the sun was almost at the horizon, we were still searching for a road or tribal village, any sign of civilization, when we saw that hole in the ground. “It’s a cave. It may lead us to nearest settlement.” cried out my cousin. “Looks like a hole rather than a cave.” one of my friends replied. “It’s a cave, I’m sure of it.” Saying this he jumped into that cave or hole, whatever it is. From my childhood, I always had this bad habit of following my cousin into all sort of trouble. So I also jumped in.
It was not much deep, may be 4 or 5 feet, but it was almost dark at the bottom. At first we couldn’t see anything. Then we noticed some movements at the far corner of the hole. I heard my cousin shouting,” Oh my God, it’s an elephant’s trap.” I knew that tribal people used to dig holes in the ground to catch elephant, a local method of entrapping an elephant. But that animal was much more smaller. “It’s too small to be an elephant.” I said to my cousin. Again without much thinking, he reached a conclusion,” May be a bear then.” And we both shouted out loud,” Oh my God, it’s a bear in elephant’s trap! Help.” Hearing this rest of our crew turned around and ran away in a blink of an eye. We kept on shouting, “Help! Help!” Suddenly a man in tribal dress appeared over our head, “What on earth you two are doing in my pigpen?”
So it was a pig which gave me almost a heart attack. Later that man pulled us out of that hole and helped us to reach the camp. Many days have passed since then. But I still get Goosebumps whenever I remember that day. This incident taught me an important lesson, never reach a conclusion without much investigation.

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Posted on August 20th, 2013 by Toni


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