Friday, August 23, 2013

Bhaloo Badmash and the Martens

Shona Bhaloo gets to play with her best-friend-in-all-the-world on three occasions. When her human family decides to visit Jhumroo's human family, when her humans decide to go out of town and offload her onto Jhumroo's humans, and when Shona decides that she misses Jhumroo.
Sho and Jhum, legs intertwined and giddy with joy

Most days she is my faithful shadow as I go about my day. Sometimes though, a sudden urge to meet Jhumroo enters that adorable head and she's gone. If I don't catch sight of her for 10 mins, I call G at Chatola. 'Oh yes', he says 'she was here. She met me and now has gone to Sonapani.

And then I grumble, put on my shoes, and trudge off to bring her back. I won't grumble now; the last time I went to collect my little runaway, something magical happened.

I was on the last stretch- a concrete road. I crested a small slope and in front of me were two yellow-throated martens. They were maybe about 20 feet away, and in the middle of the road. I froze of course, but one of them immediately dropped off the road into the forest. The other stayed where it was.For nearly a minute we stayed that way. Then incredibly, the marten began to walk towards me. Hesitatingly, slowly, with many stops, it came till it had cut the distance between us by more than half. I was not carrying my camera. But even if I was, I could not have taken a snap- I could barely remember to breathe.

Soon, I saw what it was approaching me for. A few feet away was a dead snake. The marten reached it, picked up the snake so that it wouldn't drag and walked off- not into the forest, but along the road. I gave it a couple of minutes head start and walked on myself.

Incredibly, that was not the end of my marten experience. A little further on, a stonewall runs past the road. For nearly 50 metres, the marten walked on the top of the wall while I walked along the road. Every now and then, we would stop and look at each other, then walk on.I can't explain this behaviour. It wasn't defensive, wasn't scared- just curious.

Magic. That's what it was.


nadi said...

Just today , Mukta hugged me the way ShonaBhalu hugs you - both paws on my shoulders and her face IN my neck

Ellie said...

First: could the picture of the two friends be any cuter? I will answer my own rhetorical question with a resounding NO!

Second: I assumed a marten was a bird; I imagined something big and heron-like. I like birds, don't get me wrong, but they are no match for a mammal, so yes, magic indeed!

chicu said...

Nadi, that's also the way I hug Mian! What is it about the necks of the people we love that they offer us a refuge?
Ellie..yes, magic. Good to know it exists, no?

Anonymous said...

nice, martens are cool.