A Strange Tale…


“I have a feeling,” she says, “that Dr.Jekyll is actually Mr.Hyde.”

She looks quizzically at her sister and me. Slowly, my elder daughter starts shaking in mirth and soon both of us are laughing loudly. The little girl raises a pretty eyebrow. She is most definitely not amused.

“Both looked with the same intensity- it is written. So…”

With grave faces we tell her that she had no other alternative but to finish the whole abridged version, before she discovered the truth.

Being perseverent is not one of her strengths, so she reaches out to Brer Rabbit and starts reading that wily one’s tricks.

Then she asks, “Vile and wily- what is the difference?”

I reflect.

Vile is evil. Like Mr.Hyde. All those Edward Hydes that I have known in my life, who specialised in, still specialise in breeding evil in thought, word and deed. Outside, they are charming, like Dr.Jekyll. They love art and music and words. But all it takes is one drug. The drug of feeling invincible. The downfall will come of course, because no metamorphosis can leave the original soul untouched, can it? But they are far too gone in their goddamn games. They want to win at all costs- even knocking down little girls on the way. What losers!

“Wily,” I say, ” is tricky. Like Brer Rabbit.”

“Hmmm…and vile?”

“Vile is malicious. Like Mr.Hyde.”


She finishes the classic.

“So, did you feel pity?” I ask.

“Towards who?”

The reply is clinically detached.

“Why did Dr.Jekyll commit suicide?” I probe further.

“Because he would be forced to live as Hyde?” She replies with another question.

We applaud her perspicacity. My elder one snidely comments that her sister’s future law clients need not expect any mercy from her. Pity, eh?!

I think to myself that nothing escapes those sharp eyes. She can see through falsehood, and that is a skill that will stand her in good stead.

Mercy,only to those who deserve it. There was something to that, after all.



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