Nature has created a mind-boggling variety of flora and fauna on this earth. At times, one questions the purpose of all this creation but it is our ignorance. The fact is that every creation of Nature has a purpose and whenever any particular creation ceases to have a purpose, it ceases to exist. Perhaps, that is the reason why many ancient species are extinct today while many new ones are appearing. The deeper we study the secrets of Nature, the greater is our appreciation for its beauty and perfect administration. Once we realise that we ourselves are a part of Nature and live in accordance with its laws, our life also becomes harmonious and we enjoy it fully. I had a very interesting experience of such a design of Nature a few years back.
As commissioner of the Lucknow division, I had within my jurisdiction the Dudhwa National Park, which is primarily a tiger sanctuary. On my first visit to the park, I met a Forest Service Officer who was an authority on the wild animals. He knew a lot about tigers also. After reaching Dudhwa in the evening, he gave us company in the rest house and we had a long discussion with him over the evening tea as well as dinner. There were many questions in my mind, which he answered to my full satisfaction. Naturally, all of us were enriched as a result of this interaction and were in a better position to watch the king of all animals, which eventually didn’t appear before us.
During the course of our discussion, the forest officer told us the secret of tiger’s good health. He said that a tiger never eats more than necessary and leaves its prey as soon as his hunger is satiated. He also told us that the tiger goes to sleep for a while after eating. At that time, a question arose in my mind as to how a tiger cleans its teeth. After all, he eats raw meat and it would stick to his teeth. Unless the teeth are cleaned, there is every chance of the meat getting rotten and causing an infection in the mouth. When I asked this question, he felt very happy. Though I was not very serious about the question he gave a very serious reply to it.
He said that there is a dentist for each animal and that the tiger too, has a dentist; a bird. When the tiger goes to sleep after preying, he keeps his mouth open and a particular bird waits for this opportunity. The purpose of the bird is to feed itself with the leftover meat in the tiger’s mouth. In the process of doing so, the bird cleans the teeth of the tiger. In this way, the bird plays the role of a perfect dentist for the tiger and the tiger pays the fee by providing food to the bird. This understanding between the tiger and the bird never goes wrong.