(Mar 27th to April 1st)

Format: Triple

Gerowlia waited in the sunshine and chuckled to herself like a female
pauper when she receives snuff. Her mahout said that he would go away for a drink of water. So he walked, and walked, and walked, until he disappeared on the storm-strewn plains…


This is from Letters of Marque in From Sea to Sea, volume 1. In his travels in Rajasthan Kipling is staying in a dak bungalow at Chitor, and has an embarrassing encounter with an elderly female elephant.

We trust each our own elephant, till our own elephant kills us. Other
castes trust women, but we the elephant-folk. I have seen men deal with enraged elephants and live; but never was man yet born of woman that met my lord the elephant in his musth and lived to tell of the taming..


This is from the introduction to “My Lord the Elephant”, in Many Inventions. A mahout is talking to the ‘soldiers three’ and the narrator about his elephant, which is enraged and flailing about in his heel chains. The mahout goes on to tell how he once saw a white man astride an angry beast in Cawnpore. It was Mulvaney, who goes on to tell the tale.

‘Surely they make these things to please their Gods,’ said the Bull again.
‘Not altogether’, the Elephant rolled forth. ‘It is for the profit of my mahanjuns – my fat money lenders that worship me each new year, when they draw my
image at the head of the account books.’


This is from “The Bridgebuilders” in The Day’s Work. Finlayson, the Chief Engineer of the Kashi Bridge is stranded with his head foreman on an island amidst the rushing waters of a Ganges flood that threatens to sweep all away. In the night they have a vision of the Gods to whom the local villagers pray, talking together of how Mother Gunga has been trammelled and tamed by the great new modern bridge-works.