Do you know what is common to the following names - Mata Hari, Victoria Hall, Grahame Greene and Jason Bourne?
All these people are undercover agents. The most important quality in espionage is the ability to blend in. The true personality is kept under wraps and a false persona is adopted for the world at large. Only very high-level surveillance can pick them out in a crowd.
As I sat making out my daily ‘To Do’ list, a moving twig caught my attention. Automatically I accounted for its movement and thought the breeze was playing with it. However, something seemed off – the twig was climbing the tree. I have heard of twigs falling downwards due to gravity, but this was the exact opposite. Was I losing my mind or could pigs also fly?
Closer inspection revealed that it was a living creature and of course the all-knowing Google helped me to realise that this was the stick insect. It is the phantom of nature and exists without truly existing.
A master of disguise and camouflage, it keeps itself under the radar and knows exactly how to stay perfectly still. Its enemy would have to employ a double agent to get some reaction out of it. Sitting innocently, barely breathing, it is privy to all our discussions and plans. I hope it is not in the clandestine employment of competing beverages such as coffee and milk tea.
No intelligence operation is complete without the underground activities that must be created for hiding and escaping. Meet the mole. Known for its tunnelling prowess, a mole creates an elaborate network of tunnels and pathways under the soil. Since it prefers being alone, it creates the perfect safe house away from prying eyes. Has the Mole been sent to Second Chance House as resistance to new ideas by the unscrupulous Nepal Tea growers? Or is it simply my sense of paranoia?!
The information collected must be relayed to the person concerned or it has no meaning. The camouflage of the leaf insect is so accurate that it even mimics a leaf's blemishes. They have a unique method of transmitting messages. Both males and females rub their wings together to sing to each other. They hear with ears on their front legs. The Perfect Code which would take years to decipher! Our special Dorje Cold Brew is yet to be patented. This seems to be the most efficient method of wiretapping. Are these insects broadcasting the formula to the neighbouring tea estates?
Conspiracy Theories apart, these creatures seem to be perfect characters for a Whodunnit, Cliff-hanger or suspense thriller. Also, a reminder that people may not always be what they project. When in doubt, it is good to dig deeper or inspect closer.
As I drink my calming cup of Dorje Chamomile Tea, I think to myself the difference between a mountain or a mole hill is just a matter of perspective.
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