Title: Battle between Animals and Birds (Shiruru aser Ozu raratep)
Language: Ao (Jungli)
Description: Lijaba, or God, established boundaries for the animals he created. Consequently, each species settled in their respective territories, crafting their unique environments and ecosystems.
One day, a kinglet ventured into the forest in search of food. While perched on a tree branch, it heard a loud noise from below. Looking down, the kinglet witnessed a lizard peacefully munching on a fallen seed. Envious of the lizard’s tranquility, the kinglet taunted it, leading to a meeting between animals and birds that escalated into a battle. The bat, with its feet and wings, refused to pick a side.
During the conflict, the owl emerged as the hero, defeating the snake. The birds had promised the victor freedom in the forest, which they offered to the owl. However, the bat, initially left out, begged to join but was denied by both birds and animals. The rejected bat hid in the bushes, shunned by other creatures due to his earlier flip-flopping during the battle. He became known as “Aleptei,” the owner of the graveyard, as people encountered him at night when all other animals slept, fearing his company.
This story imparts the value of selflessness and the importance of helping others without expecting rewards, as well as the dangers of selfishness and judgment. It also reflects on the ancient worship of natural elements and the oral tradition of passing down stories through generations.
The tale carries a moral lesson, satirizing social and political aspects. The owl symbolizes humility, while the snake exemplifies the downfall of pride. The central characters are the snake and the kinglet, but the protagonists and antagonists are the owl and the bat, respectively. The owl embodies humility, while the bat is portrayed as cunning and untrustworthy, always seeking to align with the winning side, which ultimately leads to his isolation in the forest.
Format & Duration: Audio – 8mins-10secs
Date of Recording: 8-Sept-2023
Date of Upload: 14-Nov-2023
Publisher: Tetso College, Dimapur
Yabangjungla. 2023. Battle between Animals and Birds (Shiruru aser Ozu raratep). (https://neiipa.in/audio/battle-between-animals-and-birds-shiruru-aser-ozu-raratep/) NEIIPA, Tetso College. Accessed: (01-Mar-2024)