On Elephant back.
Two very fuzzy little boys, slightly sweaty from a night under mosquito nets woke up at day peep. They were packed into the car, warm and giggly and taken to where the elephants stood tall and graceful all in a row.No dilly-dallying , strategically placing herself against the platform, just how her trainer the ‘mahout’ instructed Miss Elephant let the little boys get on the howdah . Mamma and papa got up too, obviously. The rails were put back on and Miss Elephant set on to tumble and roll through mounds of color and grassy perfumes.
A fragrant sunrise and a very quick sighting of a herd of deer, the little boys were beside themselves, dangling their legs in the most precarious ways , trying really hard to turn themselves into endangered species. All the while Papa was spotting away happily, ” a rhino there! there ‘s a baby too!!” ” those beefy wild buffaloes ” ” Another rhino” ” A deer” , mamma went on whispering warnings ,” hold on” ” push yourself up” ” Don’t let go” . A jumpy mamma brings the little ones laughter.
Fern fronds unfold and strappy dark leafy trees get taller. A stray branch comes perfectly squiggly trying to scrape knees. The slight wind catches up with Miss Elephant and riding on her through the jungle feels like riding on a wispy cloud. A height that doesn’t take to the top of the trees but to the densest middles where if you stood still, a plant would instantaneously grow on you, a creeper would warp over and again. A lake where the tiger comes to drink and a steep turn, Miss Elephant like a dancer makes. All this while the ‘mahout’ talks of tiger sightings and rhinos butting the elephants.
The jungle breathes heavy from the depths of the ground. A soporific perfume hangs, the little boys are lulled into quiet. On the elephant back, they have turned into arboreal creatures, dangling legs one with the tawny branches. Trees that look like fantasy, sprouting leaves in the blink of an eye.
Miss Elephant deposits them back on the platform. Poses for a picture . There are two more trips to make before she can call it a day.
All four pairs of eyes are gleaming. Like they do when one is starving but very happy. It doesn’t stop here. They go back to a warm breakfast and a safari on a jeep into the denser part of the jungle.
Enchanted. All thought suspended.