Kari, the Elephant has a Daily Routine

Kari was five months old when he came under the care of the narrator. The narrator too was a young boy, merely nine years old. The narrator could reach Kari’s back if he stood on his toes. Kari remained of the same height for the next 2 years.  Both the narrator and Kari grew simultaneously. Kari lived in a Pavilion under a thatched roof with thick tree stumps to prevent him from falling. Every morning Kari used to lie down on the sand bank while the narrator used to rub and clean him. After that, Kari would spend a long time in the water and when he would come out of it, he would be in a very happy state.

Kari’s Eating Habits

Kari did not eat much, but still he consumed about forty pounds of twigs every day. The narrator would leave him on the edge of the jungle while he went to get food for Kari. The narrator would describe how he had to be very careful about the selection of the twigs as an elephant does not consume mutilated twigs. The narrator would spend half an hour to sharpen the hatchet required for the same.

Kari Screams to Seek the Narrator’s Help

While the narrator was busy selecting twigs and young branches of the banyan tree, he hears Kari screaming for help. Since Kari was really young, the narrator gets worried that somebody was hurting him.

The narrator hurried to Kari’s rescue but he was not there where the narrator had left him.

As the narrator reached the edge of the water, he saw something black struggling above the surface of the water. Soon, the narrator felt that Kari was drowning in the water. The narrator felt helpless as it was difficult for him to jump into the water and rescue Kari as it weighed four hundred pounds. But, that very moment the narrator saw Kari emerging from the water. He pushed the narrator into the stream towards a young boy who lay flat on the bottom of river.

The Narrator with the Help of Kari Save the Boy

The narrator, seeing the boy somewhat afloat, went back into the water. Kari stood there, his feet firmly rooted in the sand and his trunk stretched out towards the narrator as if offering his hand to him. Since the narrator was not a good swimmer, it was difficult for him to save the boy. Kari, at that point, came halfway into the water and with his trunk tried to pull out the narrator.

Kari’s Love for Bananas Renders him a Punishment

According to the narrator, Kari was no less than a baby. The narrator felt that Kari needed to be trained, else he would be up to some or the other mischief. Once Kari ate some bananas and suddenly grew very fond of the bananas. In the narrator’s house, large plates of fruits were kept on the dining table. Disappearance of bananas soon became a regular feature. Sometimes the blame fell upon the servants and at other times the narrator was declared the culprit.

Soon, the narrator realised that Kari was responsible for the mysterious disappearance of the bananas. The narrator, then, showed the real thief to his parents and also scolded Kari. Kari was so ashamed that he never again dared to steal anything. Nevertheless, when someone offered him fruits he would be really delighted.  Elephants are willing to be punished for misdeeds. However, if they are punished without a reason, they remember it and pay it back.

Kari’s Training

Elephants require to be trained. They need to be taught when to walk, when to sit, when to slow down, and so on. If you say ‘dhat’ and pull them by their ears, they would learn to sit down. Similarly, if you say ‘mali’ and pull their trunk, they would learn that it is the signal to walk.

Kari took three classes to learn ‘mali’, but it took him 3 weeks to learn ‘dhat’ It is important to teach to sit else humans would need a ladder to climb their back. An elephant grows really tall in 2 to 3 years.

The Master Call

It is very important to teach an elephant the master call. The master call is a hissing and howling sound as if a snake or a tiger were fighting. Elephants need to be taught this call because this is the signal that the elephant needs to pull down the tree to frighten other animals. This is usually given when one feels lonely and frightened in the jungle. The elephant can frighten all the animals in the jungle by doing so.