Sonny boy has gone for the puja hols to his Ammamma's. He'll be back only after a week. Its going to be only the two of us for a WHOLE week. Sigh! Ammamma will not be coming back with Sonny boy next week. Sigh! Sigh!
We drove down to Kannur via Nagarhole, thinking to show Sonny boy the jungle and some wild animals in their jungle environment so he can differentiate between the 'domestic' and 'wild' he's been learning in school.
The boy who woke up at 5 in the morning, stayed awake chattering, despite all our efforts to make him sleep in the car till we were nearing Nagarhole, and then - he promptly went off to sleep! And woke up just as were were past the jungliest part of Nagarhole! The best laid plans...
Coming back, without him, we saw-
puh-lenty of chital with antlers and all,
an elephant having a mud bath. We almost drove past thinking it to be a rock, when it lifted its trunk and we glimpsed white tusks and a shower of mud.(we heard the trumpteting of the herd farther away and accelerated past before they decided to cross the road and stand in the middle of the road like they did once before - we had to wait 5 min that time before they decided to make a move.)
Two domesticated elephants near the kraal..we could've stopped there if Sonny boy were there, like we did once before..
We had a rare sighting of a handsome sambar towering majestically before it darted away startled, into the foliage.
And towards dusk, we saw some eyes gleaming redly in the dark, but couldn't see the animal it belonged to. Sigh!
I've seen bison too once, tho' not on this occasion.
And one unforgettable time, the husband and I were (again coming back from dropping Sonny boy) driving slowly thru at noon. We'd seen plenty of monkeys on our drive the previous day, and this time too, only monkeys seemed to be available and we were not enthused.
Husband: *boredly* "One more monkey!"
me: *sleepily* "umm.."
Husband: *conversationally* "Quite a big monkey tho' "
Me: "Umm...yeah" *focussing sleepily on the monkey*
Me: "But .. the monkey has spots...? *waking up*
Husband: *galvanised with excitement*: Wife! that's not a monkey! That's a .. DAMN!"
It was a baby cheetah!
Who had been in the middle of the road like a common monkey, when the husband who was driving spotted it. In the bright sunlight, at a distance, the yellow and the black spots blended to a kind of grey. As the car approached slowly, the black spots on yellow became evident, and it moved with cat-like grace to the side of the road, its long tail touching the road, with the tip lifting up in that characteristic curve.
We stopped the car and drank in the sight, not moving a muscle, but almost trembling with delight, as it drew almost level with the car.
When a bloody ASININE person driving a car coming up behind behind, honked at us to get a move on-
and it slunk away, melted away almost, into the bushes lining the road.
The other car passed us, and we looked at it fuming, then tried to catch a glimpse of the yellow thru the undergrowth, but yellow blends very easily with green...
Two awed adults looked at each other and laughed in delight like kids, with only ONE regret- that they hadn't been able to click a pic. (other than not being able to sock the idjit driver one, of course)
Imagine - a cheetah - just about 6 ft ahead - right in front of us - walking towards us....
and we thought it was a monkey!!!
Every time we pass Nagarhole we keep a lookout for the kid we saw, who'd be a full blown adult now... but we've never seen it since.
4 days ago