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“Hey Titu, what on earth are you doing here?” asked Aunt Fox. “Do you know how far you are from the place where your mother Titu is?”

Aunt Fox did not seem happy with Titu, as she knew that Titu is a carefree child of her friend Pomi.

Titu was puzzled and scared too. He told Aunt Fox that he had lost his way.

Titu’s eyes were cast down on the ground out of shame. Then he asked Aunt Fox pointing towards the black stripes. “Aunt is it anaconda lying here? Will it swallow me up?”

Aunt Fox looked at the black iron stripes and laughed at Titu’s foolishness

“It is not anaconda Titu. It’s the rail track for the trains to run on it?”

“Track for trains?” “What is a train?”

Aunt Fox was about to explain when a small squeak was heard. It was Chuchu the rat wishing aunt fox.

Aunt Fox introduced Titu and Chuchu with each other.

“Where are you coming from or going to Chuchu?”

Chuchu: “Oh Aunt! What to say, I had high time in train. Last week I went to city with some of my friends in train. We ate lots of delicious things. Some children had cheese pizza, garlic bread and peanut biscuits in their basket. Luckily it was my birthday too that day so we friends enjoyed the feast. The children found the next morning that their food was nibbled and munched.”  “We enjoyed their anger and hunger.”

Titu was listening to Chuchu’s talk with keen interest. He asked Chuchu and Aunt Fox about the train. Aunt Fox briefly told him about the train.

Titu: “Chuchu have you really traveled in a train?”

Chuchu nodded his small head proudly.

Chuchu: “I very often moved in trains sometimes alone at times with my friends. When I miss my family, I come back home. The journey in train is very exciting and thrilling. I have seen many places and eaten variety of eatables in the train.”

Titu requested Chuchu to take him too next time when he goes in a train.

Chuchu: “you—- and train—-“he looked at Aunt Fox that was also smiling at Titu’s request. Chuchu laughed sarcastically.

Titu felt insulted and asked the reason for their laugh. “What have I said so funny that both of you are laughing at me?”

Chuchu said that he only laughed at his innocence. “You are so huge in size Titu dear that you can’t get on train unnoticed or unseen”

Aunt Fox: “Chuchu is right Titu. “I also got on train sneakily, though Chuchu had warned me. I felt so excited to see hens, birds, ducks, pigeons, sparrows and quails in webbed crates with strings and cords.” I got my mouth watery to see them.”

Aunt Fox stopped and breathing deeply stared in the space.

Titu gazed aunt in waiting to know the details.

After a pause aunt fox said gloomily that she was just thinking to ask Chuchu to bite the cords so she may do justice and eat some birds. But then guessing the gestures of Aunt Fox, the ducks quacked, birds twittered, pigeons fussed, hens clucked and sparrows chirped loudly drawing the attention of the keepers.

“Before I could hide myself anywhere, the keeper hit me hard with a shaft on my back.  Though it has been years now but the pain reminds me of the incidence every year in winter. It hurts badly in winter.”

Titu: “my dear Aunt Fox you are so small in size and posture that could not stand one thrash of the stick. I am so huge and strong an elephant. So what if I am a baby elephant. Will you take me for a train ride Chuchu please?”

Titu’s constant requests compelled Chuchu to take him for a train ride.

One day a cargo train stopped far from the station.

Chuchu, his friends and Titu rushed to the spot.

Titu s somehow managed to get on the train.

Chuchu and his friends hid themselves in holes and arcs.

Fortunately Titu escaped onlookers’ eyes too.

The shrill of the honk frightened Titu but Chuchu consoled. Chuchu told Titu that honk is the signal that train is going to be in motion.

 

As the train started to run, Titu enjoyed the cool breeze, speedily passing by human beings, trees, mountains and lakes. He felt in high spirits watching everything, which he had never dreamt of.

It was new experience for him.

They heard a honk again. Chuchu told Titu that the train would slow down to be stationed. Titu felt strange why everyone looked at him in wonder. After short while people started gathering near their section. Titu felt proud and overwhelmed to see so many watching him. He thought that as he is the first elephant ever traveled in train so he’s been looked at.

Within no time the crowd scattered and uniformed men came with heavy strong ropes, chains, net and a crane. Titu did not know what was to come next when he was grabbed, tied with ropes, chained and loaded in a gigantic truck. The truck moved to one direction leaving the onlookers amused and confused at the same time.

Animals_in_the_Jungle2

Chuchu helplessly watched Pomi’s arrest with dismay and wet eyes.

The   onlookers moved away from there to see other caged animals and flora and fauna in the zoo.

The guards later moved on to carry out their other duties clearing the place.

Chuchu came out from a slit in the birch tree and tiptoed in Titu’s cage.

Titu was elated to see his friend.   He caressed him with his trunk.

Titu: “How did you get in here Chuchu?”

Pomi: “Its Chuchu only who helped me meet you Titu. If Chuchu didn’t guide me the way, I would have died missing you my baby.”

Chuchu: “It’s your greatness Pomi that you think positively otherwise I hold responsible myself for creating all this mishap for you both.”

Pomi: “Nay, nay Chuchu, please do not curse yourself. Aunt Fox has told me that it was Titu who forced you to provide him a ride in train. It is you who risked life and helped me get to Titu in here.”

“ I love to be with my baby in the cage than to be free without Titu.

It’s better to be in captivity with my child than to live without him. Believe you me, I am very obliged to you and very satisfied here.”

All three stayed very calm for a while then Pomi asked Chuchu to leave.

Pomi: “Chuchu dear you must go as you have a long way to go. Please give our regards to all the animals in the jungle. Tell them we are very happy here and they need not worry for us.”

Chuchu said good-bye to them and getting out of the cage, started towards railway station.

Aunt fox had also moved towards her home after Pomi and Chuchu started for city to meet Titu.

Aunt Fox met ChinChin Monkey and Pita Parrot on the way back home. Pita parrot called out Aunt Fox: “Where are you off to Aunt? Won’t you have chitchat with us for a while?’’

Aunt Fox: “Hey Chuchu have you married or still roaming weirdly and lonely as a cloud?”

ChinChin Monkey and Pita Parrot darted down and sat near Aunt Fox to make out what she had in her Pandora box.

Aunt Fox began to enlighten them with fables of here and there.

She told them about Titu’s ride in a train and his captivity. And also about Pomi that how she got there and now both mother and son are in a zoo.

She was tired of a long journey and   story telling   so she walked towards her warren.

Pita Parrot was fond of spreading rumors.  He at once did justice to his heart’s desire hence the story of Pomi and Titu spread like fire in the jungle.

ChinChin was favorite secret agent of Sher Dil, the King of jungle so he ran fast to tell him before anybody else would.

The King Sher Dil was taken a back, and shocked to hear the news. He was very upset to know that such big incidents happened in his Kingdom and he was unaware of it. He felt disgusted.

He was tense that two precious lives of his governance were in danger. The King scolded ChinChin for his irresponsible conduct.

The king commanded self-conscious ChinChin to inform Sardar Trumpet immediately that the King will pay him a visit soon.

Knowing about the King’s visit, all animals became alert and got on their heels and toes.

Everybody busied themselves in cleaning-up the place.

Sardar Trumpet made a comfortable place for the King on a raised spot under the shade of a huge birch tree.

Aunt Fox as a good host asked Baba Bear and Woo Wolf to arrange, new hunted fresh meat for the King.

An elephant announced the arrival of the King.

All animals present there greeted the king with respect and awe.

The king shared his concern over two   precious endangered lives of   Pomi and her son Titu. He said that if he had the least idea he would have never allowed them to go to the unsafe city of humans.

Sardar Trumpet: “You’re Excellency! I advised Pomi not to go but she did not pay attention to my advice.  Thus I gave in seeing her craving for her missing son.”

King sarcastically roared, “Very well said!  This is nothing but sheer lame excuse.”

The King: “I know that none other than a mother would take such a bold step. But would you be kind enough to explain what kind of a Chief are you of your tribe? Wasn’t it your responsibility to take care of their life? You could have informed me at least if you failed to handle the situation. I would have accompanied   her or sent someone with her.”

The King: “Send Chuchu the rat in, right away.”

Chuchu, who had just returned and was very exhausted after a long journey, went near the King and feebly bowed him.

The king: “Chuchu, you   look dead tired.  Where are you coming from? Then he ordered   the Aunt Fox to feed Chuchu with some sweet corn and maize.

After eating and gaining some strength, Chuchu told the king the entire story again about Pomi and Titu’s imprisonment.

Pomi’s sisters and her friends started to sob after listening to the   painful story.

Trumpet, was a symbol of regret and repent for all the animals present there. He then realized that a stitch in time saves nine.  Beating about the bush was too late then.


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