Tigress Arrowhead in Ranthambhore National Park, India. © Santosh Saligram
Arrowhead at Doodh Baodi, June 2016
Arrowhead is not a narrow-head. No. Her head’s broad enough, I assure you. Nor is she a hot-head, going by the way she keeps her cranium cool even when the times are a’tryin’.
And it’s not only her eyebrow stripe that’s shaped by the quirk of fate like an arrow either. Her whole body is built to be one by design, albeit an arrow with a blunt-but-acutely-attractive four-fanged front, a rotund fuel tank in the middle, which although sizeable affords modest mileage, and a payload of at least 150 kilos, yet being infinitely manoeuvrable. Consider all this and she suddenly stars sounding more like a guided missile than an arrow, actually.
Anyway, this guided missile with arrow branding was something of a hunting legend already last summer (with that kind of name, surprised is no-one), apparently in sharp contrast to her brother, Pacman, who’d live up to his own name, with long comical interludes between swallowing promptly all the food that’s given to him, on or sans a platter.
Arrowhead, however, is in direct semantic corroboration with the former half of her given name and latter half of her zoological name, as she goes about efficiently practising the alchemy of turning deer to tiger in the fashion of a sharp and fast weapon. The phrase ‘eats shoots and leaves’ does not apply to her with or without the comma after ‘eats’, though, for she eats meat, doesn’t use a gun, and, like it or love it, is here to stay.

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