By E. R. C. Davidar
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Additional info for ADVENTURES OF A WILDLIFE WARDEN
Wh en they reached th e pool, they did not come down straightaway, but jumped from branch to branch and fro m tree t o tree , keeping a sharp wat ch to see if an y of the ir enemies were abo ut. Satisfied that all was well, they came d own one by one to dr ink water from the poo l, and went to the side with rocks. The young ones, clinging to their mothers' bellies, then jumped down and played. They were full of mischief and were fun to watch. 52 While watching the langurs, Mohan's attention was attracted to a bird that flew down to sit on a low branch of the mango tree.
Any other boy in Mohan's place would have fallen down with frig ht. But Mohan was calm. He kept watching the raging elephant. He saw something which the others had not noticed. On its neck, partly hidden by one ear was a large lump. He drew his father's attentio n to it. T he wa rden at once recognised what it was -a clo sed wound laden with pus. His questi on had been a nswered . He was no longer in dou bt. The rea son for the aggressive beha viour of the cross tusker was this painful wound; it was not t he sha pe of its tusks that mad e it a killer.
Who rushed in a body to drink the water. Mohan was shocked to see the big stags at the rear, pushing their way through the herd to occupy the best places . The deer remained near the pool for a long time . While the fawns played . two of the biggest stags fought. They lowered their heads and charged at each other, head on, their antlers meeting with a loud clas h. Thereafter the fight became more of a pushing match. This was repeated several times unt il the weaker of th e stags turned and walk ed awa y swiftly .