One late morning at Sukha Talab, the Pateeha female, having watered herself and her two girls, had risen to a stately squat, ready for departure, when one of the cubs’ attention was diverted by a sound.
On the firm conviction that it behoved him to investigate, the cub walked away from the water and positioned himself on the slope of the bund.
Seconds later, a wild boar appeared on the crest, carrying its pigtail at the dickey with much panache, to help itself to an uneventful drink. It well thought it was headed to water, but little knew it was making firm progress in the direction of an impromptu boar-catcher instead, who expressly petitioned to intercept its progress towards hydration.
But at this peak of the cub’s ambitions, the boar finally realised that it was freewheeling towards a casualty. And with a swift engagement of launch control, it darted off to the left, paddling its legs as fast as possible, seeking sanctuary from an encounter with its mortality.
The cub took a few encouraging steps on the same locus despite the advantage of holding lower ground, making a grand advance of a few feet, but with abrupt deceleration, brought about by self-doubt, pragmatism, loss of interest, or simply indolence, came to a screeching halt rearing up like a prancing horse, before landing on his front paws and rejoining his mother.