The Heffalump (for Kai & Mia)

The Heffalump came visiting twice in the two weeks that I was gone. No one saw him and we know it was only One him, because Nagaraj told us so. And we believe Nagaraj. By the time the Heffalump-Spotting-Squad, comprising of Kuki and me in the jeep, got to the farm, there had been a rain and very few remaining foot prints. So we couldn't be detetctives now could we? Nagaraj showed us a roundish hole in the ground that he said was a footprint. It could've been or it could've been a spot where Nagamma's pot fell. But maybe it was indeed a Heffalump footprint.

But we do know for sure that this time, the Heffalump was a little out of sorts and really made a mess of the bananas. He (or she, but most probably he, because girl Heffalumps are not known to wander about alone) entered the land from the art shed corner, then into the banana field near the s-shaped loos with the pink roses and ivy. And then, guess what? He doesn't care too much about bananas so these he just picks off the plant and tosses on the ground. But what he really likes is the heart of the banana stem. So he peels the leaves and outer layers away and then eats up the heart. We took photographs of the mess he made. All the nice plants stripped and tossed on the ground. He even made a dent in a pumpkin. Remember I gave that one to you? And Aala made a pumpkin pie and dhamrot with it.

I suppose after eating a whole field of banana stems, the Heffalump must sit down and burp. But I can only imagine this part. I spend a lot of time imagining the animals that I know are there, but that I haven't seen as yet. The bear that Nagaraj saw on our lane a week ago, at 6 pm, as he made his way back from Vardenahalli. The mother bear and cubs that the painters saw two years ago. The 5 elephants that the forest department chased past us and towards Savandurga. The leopards that must love the rocks. The wild boar that come for the groundnuts and sometimes root around in the bananas. Thank goodness we see a lot of peacocks or I might just have to imagine them as well.

And so I imagine that the Heffalump, after destroying the banana field, walks to the pond and gets a good drink of water. I know for a fact he scratched himself on the tamarind tree near the oven because we have evidence! A dusty red patch of mud high up on the tree that Nagamma pointed out to us.

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