Sunday, August 31, 2008

Summer Postcard from the Hills, India

In north London something has been messing around with the bins. The neighbors' dog, no doubt, the aged one that barks blindly, still not recognizing me, whenever I pass their gate. Meanwhile, another near neighbor received this missive from our friend Anuradha Roy, author of the recently-published An Atlas of Impossible Longing.

Roy writes:

Feeling rather shaken because as I was writing this email a leopard came andtook our neighbour's dog, a sweet, slightly demented little thing calledGoldie who had barked his heart out at Biscoot this morning, as everymorning. He stands on his hind legs and barks in a frenzy--such comical rage. Now there's much yelling and shouting down the hill, but too late.Last month another favourite, a short legged, bushy tailed brown-and-whitecalled Bobo had vanished.

A leopard. Panthera pardus, a protected species in India. We come across them on and off--crossing a road, sliding into the forest--after dark. From the safety of a car, they're magnificent. The town I live in is at the edge of a forest which has quite a lot of wildlife, the leopard included--and when they haven't enough prey in the forest, which they usually don't, they are always on the lookout for food. They love dogs--but not in the way we do!

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