Friday, January 15, 2016


Nandu woke up and opened his eyes. For a few seconds he was not sure where he was. It seemed to him that he was surrounded by a forest of big grey tree trunks.
He blinked his eyes and looked around. Oh! There was Amma. The grey forest that he had imagined he was in, was actually the legs and trunks of his family members.
The sun was over head and it was getting hot. Nani ma trumpetted – made a loud sound. Nani ma is the oldest in this herd of elephants. She started moving towards the jungle. The other female elephants saw her and started to follow her. Nandu also went with them.
When they reached the jungle, the members of the herd started spreading out. Each member went to eat her favourite leaves and twigs. After they had eaten, the herd moved towards the river. The baby elephants enjoyed playing in the water. The mothers laid down in the water and mud on the river bank.


The elephant is the largest and one of the most powerful and intelligent animals. Even though blue whales are the largest animals for they grow up to 30 metres, elephants top the list as far as land animals are concerned. A fully-grown elephant reaches a height of 4 metres and a weight of 6 metric tons.
The most remarkable feature of the elephant is its tusks and trunk. The tusks, in fact, are two of its upper teeth that have grown on the outside and become enlarged. A tame or trained elephant uses its tusks to support heavy loads while wild elephants use them as weapons of attack. Tusks are made of ivory which is highly! valuable.

And it is for tusks that elephants are hunted down and killed. Even though articles made of ivory are banned in most countries they are available in the black market, and this leads to elephant poaching.

The trunk is another interesting feature of the elephant. It serves as an arm and a hand for picking up twigs and leaves and pushing them into its mouth. The trunk is actually the elephant’s lengthened nose and upper lip. It is thick and well-protected on the outside but has a tender inside.

There are two kinds of elephants - the Asian elephant and the African elephant. The Asian elephant is relatively smaller than its African counterpart.
While the Asian elephant is 2.75 metres tall and weighs 3.5 metric tons, the African is 3.5 metres tall and weighs about 5 metric tons, and is darker than the Asian species.

Moreover, the Asian elephant can be easily tamed or trained and it sleeps lying down while the African elephant is wild and sleeps upright.

Fun and Games:
Nandu saw his brothers and sisters pulling each other’s tails. He thought, “I better not go near them. What if they fall on me? I am still small.” He quietly went and stood near his mother.
Amma gently pushed Nandu towards the water, as if she was telling him to go and play. Nandu loved to play in the water. His cousins were already there. Just as he reached near, a strong fountain of water fell on his head. He got wet. Oh, this was the work of his naughty cousins. Nandu joined them in the game.
Before sunset, the herd started back towards the jungle. By then, Nandu was very tired. He settled himself between his mother’s front legs and fell asleep as he drank her milk.
You have read about Nandu and the elephant herd. An elephant herd has only females and baby elephants. The oldest female is the leader of the herd. A herd may have 10 to 12 female elephants and young ones. Male elephants live in the herd till they are 14 –15 years old. Then they leave
their herd and move around alone. Nandu will also leave his herd when he is that old.
Like elephants, some other animals also live together in groups. These animal groups are called herds. Animals in herds usually move around together, searching for food.

The basket is the only home I have. I have forgotten what it is like in the open jungle and fresh air. For me it is only the basket and the snake charmer!

You see me in circus – dancing and jumping They make us dance and dance and dance. Even if we don’t want to or we are in pain. That too, with anempty stomach!

You have only seen how fast I run. Have you seen my ‘shoes’? Do you know how much pain I get when they fix the horse shoes to my hooves?

They make us dance and dance and dance. Even if we don’t want to or we are in pain. That too, with an empty stomach!

Meow! Meow! Meow! I can just roam around everywhere. Children love me a lot. They pat me and also give me milk.

Gurtargoo! Gurtargoo! Do you know people specially call out to me to feed grain.


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