|13th July 2001 - Page 2|
ELEPHANTS: BRAIN OR BRAWN?
|Continued from Page 1|
|In a clearing on the margin of an equatorial forest, a solitary rogue tramples its way through the savannas. The African elephant, named Ulisse by the villagers, approaches a desiccated and dry leafless tree. The azure sky touched with shades of cerulean, spread with deep penetrating rays of vivid sunshine, Ulisse rests under the tree, after a stiff days work. The afternoon birds sit nearby Ulisse pecking in the ground. Suddenly in the calmness of the day, a distant cry is heard. The villagers cannot hear it, but it reaches the sharp ears of Ulisse.
The docile animal opens her lethargic eyes and looks around. The cry gets louder and sounds more excruciating. Ulisse gets up and scurries off in the direction of the wail. After sprinting in one direction for three to four minutes, Ulisse gets a view of the chief villager's son Adrilovandi, or Vandi for short.
There Ulisse sees that Vandi is about to be attacked by hordes of resilient and robust bulls, who are charging at him at an atrocious speed. Their horns in front of their heads ready to perforate Vandi's delicate and smoothly tanned body. Vandi's eyes are filled with instant feelings of innocence and panic. He is only a boy.Ulisse knows she has to help this young boy, but she doesn't know how. There must be at least 15 to 20 bulls together. Ulisse knows that she can't fight them all away, but the worst is still to come.
Vandi is nearing dead end. On the other side of the dead
|end is Ulisse and in the middle is a savior blue river, thundering as it tremors with waves. It is a 120 feet deep cliff, and there's no way out! Somehow Vandi will have to reach the other side, as there's no alternative. He cannot risk his life by jumping into the treacherous river to swim across. And neither can he endanger his life by being assaulted by the ferocious animals. This is when an idea strikes Ulisse. She always had a clever mind, and once again, it will come in use.
The bare naked tree under which Ulisse was resting, is quite large. She thinks that if she can somehow manage to get the trunk between the two cliffs, then Vandi can use it as a bridge and cross the river. With all her vigor and strength, she pulls out the tree trunk with its roots and hauls the felled tree trunk between the two points.
Vandi sees what Ulisse has done, and without wasting even one precious second, he hops onto the corked tree trunk and walks across carefully, placing each foot in front of the other. And very soon, Vandi reaches the other side, where Ulisse awaits his arrival.
The bulls watch in disgrace as their only prey for the day escapes in the nick of time.
Vandi till now doesn't know how to pay back Ulisse for saving his life with such zeal and courage. It just proves that Elephants are capable of doing anything using their brawn and brain.
|Then, suddenly he saw it, it was blowing in the wind. It was the flag of his country.
He saw what he was fighting for - his country… his people… his wife... his children. He remembered when he was a little boy and how his mother used to sit him down under the Neem tree, telling him stories of how his father died in the Second World War. He shed a few tears and set off up the hill.
Halfway up the hill, he turned to look back at the flag. It made him feel proud and patriotic. It was truly an honour to fight for his country. He took one last look at the flag, then turned around and went up, with his head held high, to do his duty. He felt proud to be an Indian.
I sat there in a daze,
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