AKIF ABDULAMIR There are stories that are told everyday. But there are other stories - stories of a magnificent sunrise, the story of a brilliant moon and the story of the whispering wind. But these stories are never told. It is the sad stories of disfigured bodies, humiliation and violence that are being repeated time and again. The good news is that good stories are available at short notice. You have to only open your eyes to see them. Not all the cracks or the holes on the wall are caused by earthquakes or bullets. Many of them are caused by damp and even a fault in construction. To many, there are just unsightly eyesores that should be patched up. In some places, their owners just ignore them and they cease to be a nuisance. But to a keen pair of eyes, wall cracks make interesting patterns. You can see faces with long noses or fat people with bulging stomachs. I was walking along a neglected patch of land where thorny bushes were growing wild, when suddenly birds flew in all directions. I must have scared them. It then went ghostly quiet, but for the distant drones of cars passing by. I reached a point where rocks and thorns made it impossible for me to walk further. There was a patch of sand that had twisting marks and I knew what they were - the path of a brown one-foot snake of the desert that burrows in the sand to escape the preying eyes of vultures. Someone had once told me they were harmless, but I did not risk walking towards the twisting marks. As I was contemplating my next move, I heard a soft rustling sound behind me. I turned and saw dry leaves moving. A big, green lizard made quite a contrast to the yellow shrivelling leaves. It stopped right on its tracks and looked at me menacingly. It must have been more than a foot long. We spent the next 10 seconds staring at each other. The lizard was not sure whether my intrusion into the wild life was a threat or curiosity. I made a threatening move and it scampered under the thorns of the overgrown bush. I was abusing the generosity of the creatures in their own homes. I walked back to look for another path and nearly stepped on a termite hill whose residents had just finished a meal out of a dead tree. I sidestepped it only to put a foot on a broken piece of glass. My rubber-soled shoe prevented a nasty cut in my tender foot. I might have trespassed wild life there, but I was not leaving my mark behind. Many people who trespass such territories, after perhaps a night of enjoyment, are in the habit of leaving their unwanted belongings before going home. Some had used isolated areas like this to dump rubbish. I saw the evidence of this just a short distance away. The contents of an entire household had been dumped in a patch between two trees. But a short distance away, I spotted a rare sight. A brown desert fox, which you normally do not see during daylight, cocked its ears to watch me. I walked cautiously and the beast checked my progress. When I got within 50 metres, it snarled and let out an audible growl. I was surprised because brown foxes are docile animals. Then I found out why. Just behind her was a litter of cubs. The mother was not only protecting her territory, but her family as well. I took out my mobile phone camera to click a picture. The animal turned and picked its cubs one by one and disappeared to place them out of harms way behind a small hill. I put my mobile away. I could catch the image of a fox with her litter, but never the breeze that ruffles the thorny branches. That is my story to tell. Khaleej Times