Lately I have read a story ‘The Vendetta’ by Guy de Maupassant in which the main character is an old lady, the widow of Paulo Saverini . It so happens that her son, Antoine gets killed by one Nicholas Ravolati after a dispute and the widow left alone full of sorrow and sadness , spends sleepness nights thinking of ways to avenge the murder of her son. She has a shepherd dog called Semillante . An idea strikes her and she experiments by starving the dog and making him attack a dummy. The result is encouraging as the hungry dog pounces upon the dummy and mauls it completely. After a few days she again starves the dog and disguised as an old man, takes it to the village of Nicholas Ravolati, the murderer of her son. She calls out to him by name and when he comes out , she lets the dog loose and motions it to attack Nicholas, who in a short while makes a short work of the murderer . Having completed her mission , she returns to her house and sleeps well .
In contrast, I am reminded of a poem ‘ Yousuf ‘ which I read in school. Since this was more than four decades ago, I have forgotten the name of the poet , and unfortunatelu even the Google has been of no help in tracing the poem and the poet. Yousouf, a man of God, welcomes a stranger to his home for the night and the stranger, overwhelmed by the hospitality and burdened with guilt discloses the fact that he is the murderer of Yousuf’s son . To his utter surprise, Yousuf instead of abusing him or cursing him, gives him money and asks him to get away at once before the feeling of revenge gets the better of him . In the latter case, the virtue of forgiveness comes to the fore .
In both the cases, a son has been murdered , but the reaction of the survivors of the victims is exactly the opposite. This shows the complexity of human nature and psyche.