At noon, on Sunday, while the Army folks practised their ear-splitting shooting skills, while we decided to have the correct Sunday winter lunch ( Hot Khichdi with Hot Ghee), our neighbour decided to collect firewood from the forest patch surrounding the field. Being the local perpetual drunk, he would have noisily stumbled around in the undergrowth, and spread the intoxicating aroma of country liquor in the air.
A small Big Cat ( called Tendua in the local Kumaon dialect) jumped out of the bushes, mauled him on the face and arms and vanished into the blazing sunlight. Neighbour stumbled across the field, bleeding from his injuries, and asks around for an ointment. He was immediately bundled off to the hospital, where the injuries were reported as a “wild boar attack” in the OPD register and in the local newspaper.
Yesterday, his entire clan came over, in cars and buses, to see his injuries…and the debate continues ” was it a wild boar or a big cat?”. The patient is much better and is now his usual drunk self. The small Big Cat may still be lurking around in the forest.
At dusk, on Monday, while little Biskit tried to walk around the field and feel better, I spied this massive silver blot behind the deodar trees. It was the full moon, rising into the inky blue sky and flooding the forest road with its pure light.
Dogs and daughter were piled into the car and we set off on a drive…Me to see the Moon, daughter to find that elusive small Big Cat, dogs to smell and sniff the fresh night air.
It was magical…We drove a good ten kilometers of winding mountain roads, with silvery moonlight on the drooping branches of the brooding deodar trees, with hamlet lights spread out in the valleys like stars beneath our feet, with the first hint of warmth in the passing breeze. It was good to see Biskit sitting quietly on the lap, smelling and sniffing the calming air. Anything to make that little diva feel better!
The Big Cat remained elusive…The Huge Moon remained mystical…The Fresh Air remained on the cold noses of the dogs…And Home remained its usual welcoming, warm self.