AGORA

It was their second day alive, the sky was blue, the sun was golden and the day was bright, just as it was yesterday: all ten chicks were on a jolly outing with their mother. The world, it seemed, was a mega playground, a smorgasbord of puny worms and bugs, breadcrumbs and cereals, all for the taking. Eager to take over the world, to find out what juicy treasures it was still hiding, some colonial chicks slowly strayed away from mother hen, deaf to her repeated clucking that they’d better not stray too far from her. A hawk watched keenly from a roof as one chick strayed farther than the rest. Then, swoosh, the sniper struck! Mother hen shrieked, the chicks sprinted back, all but one of them.

It was their second day but it was not to be like yesterday. The sky was still blue but theirs wasn’t. They were deaf a while ago but they now they could hear. They could hear their mother cackle in anguish as they huddled behind her wings in utter silence. They could hear a generator chug loudly nearby, beside the house whose roof the hawk had stood on…