Mother of the Mount
The authorities were finally unanimous on one topic – the crowds at the Mount Mary’s during September were getting larger and larger and it was getting very difficult to control them. Furthermore with all the attention Mother Mary was getting, the police were afraid that if a crisis were to take place it would be very difficult – almost impossible to maintain order. So it was decided that there would be a high wall built all around the church with Z-type security, all trees surrounding the vicinity would be cut down to make room for a security station and all unwanted beggars would be shifted.
This new system when it was in the process of being carried out upset many, so at the dead of night, some of them went to other nearby churches to narrate their woes to Mother Mary…and Mother Mary did converse with them.
“Dear little troubled brown dog,” whispered Mother Mary, “What woes thee?”
“O fair Queen,“ whimpered the dog in prayer, “I may not be able to waltz down the aisles of the church and sleep under the benches the way I used to because of the security. They prefer to waltz down the aisles with guns in their hands. O Mary…what shall I do?”
“Wait my little one,” said Mother Mary in a kind way as she moved towards the next creature with a complaint.
“O dear slithery serpent,” said the gentle Mother Mary to a snake, “What ails thee?”
“O Mother of my soul,” said the hissing creature, “the construction workers have mowed the grass and cut down all the surrounding trees near your church which used to be my home…I have nowhere to go Mother. What must I do?”
“My pain is more than I can bear!” yelled someone in the distance interrupting the snake. “Who is it and what is thy request?” replied the Mother in blue satin as she drifted towards the voice.
“I am the spirit of the tree those security guards cut down so brutally. They killed my mother, my father, my friends and my little young -sapling…what wrong have I done to deserve this? Give me justice Mother of my being!”
“Wait awhile dear tree spirit,” said Mother Mary holding her white hand to her Immaculate Heart as she drifted towards a leper.
“What is thy request my son?” whispered Mary in the ears of the bleeding leper.
“Dear sweet Mother of Mercy, my whole life has been spent outside your church. I was in pain but my heart was always full of joy to know that I lie at the feet of my Mother….but now the guards threw me out, seeing me as a threat…me a threat!!!” and the poor man wept aloud.
“Wait son…I am there,” whispered Mother Mary with determination.
The next day, pandemonium broke loose as one pilgrim found a bomb under his bench. More were found around the statue of Mother Mary and a terrorist ran about the Shamiana, with a gun in his hand. The security guards were terrified and in the gun fire the terrorist was wounded.
As some of the higher authorities and the police questioned the terrorist about his intentions….they were astounded to see that the wounded man’s eyes turned bright blue as he said:
“You poor things—-a Mother looks after her children….not the other way around. My shrine was safe in the past years not because of the police or Z security….but because whenever a strange man was seen near my Shrine, a beggar would warn you and you would catch him; because a clump of trees would always confuse any terrorist hiding in the forested land; because if a strange person crept anywhere too close to my shrine, they would be bitten by a snake and lastly….if there was any danger to me….a dog would sniff it out. But you have driven them out! Remember…I am there for you always….I am the Immaculate Conception.”
Copyright © 2013 by Fiza Pathan
A short story from my book S.O.S. Animals And Other Stories